Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bronze & Brass

Two bronze Chinese vases with dragon and cloud decoration grace the piano in the living room. While I don't know their exact age, I do know they were made into lamps in the 1880's.  (My Iphone has distorted the light somewhat, giving the shade a glare.) 

I had the shades made - fittingly perhaps - at the Oriental Lamp Company Company  on West 79th Street. For awhile, I thought they had gone out of business, but now surmise that they were revamping their website. The 1920's amber glass finials were found on Ebay.  

Here are the brass lamps that are on the mantel. Aesthetic Period (c. 1875) oil lamps, they have two scenes of flying birds; sparrows on one side and kingfishers on the other. The oil tanks are still intact, so they could be restored to their former glory if the apocalypse comes and the lights go out.

Both sets of lamps were found at the flea market. The shades on these lamps came from Just Shades in the SoHo. I walked in with one lamp and saw the shades sitting on a shelf behind the register, knowing in an instant that they would work. They have a 1920's feel to them. They've been relined once already, the heat from a standard 40 watt bulb eating away the silk. I've since gotten smarter, and now use a narrower bulb so as to minimize the heat. So far, so good. 

Detail of the top. These lamps have the same amber and brass finials as those on the piano. Both pairs of lamps have a dialogue of warmth and light, the gold shades giving the room a glow in the evening. Speaking of which: I don't see them much used in current decoration. In that sense, they reference another time and era.


  1. just a simple flea market find? love it dahhling! they look great in your space.

    1. Thank you Duchess! The flea market here in Manhattan has shrunken over the years, at one time comprising three large lots and a garage. Now, only the garage is left, and the building is scheduled to be torn down and replaced with a building as happened with the lots.


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