Are you an antique lamp collector -- or would you like to be? Just looking for that special piece for your home or office? Whatever your needs and interests, we have all the facts you need, not sales promotions! Honest information, simply presented.
In the seventeenth century, the standard for travel was the horse drawn carriage. This was a great improvement over the other transportation alternatives of the day, horseback riding or walking. Of course, a carriage required lamps to light the traveler’s way, much like the headlights of today’s automobiles. There is an interest today in antique carriage lamps from those very horse drawn carriages.
Most antique carriage lamps were made of brass and wood. Well constructed and quite durable, these carriage lamps have become highly desirable as collectible items. Horse drawn carriages were either enclosed or open. The enclosed carriage had a top cover (called the head or hood), generally made of a flexible material for folding back, when the passengers wished to ride in the open air. A closed carriage generally featured side windows, also known as quarter lights, as well as windows.
Lamps from those very same carriages are collected today. They were mounted on either side of the carriage, near the quarter lights, or were mounted on the doors. Their purpose was twofold. Not only did they function as a safety measure, making the carriage visible on the road to other drivers, but a carriage lights also provided light for the passengers inside.
That which we referred to today as a carriage lamp generally refers a style of lamp as opposed to its function or use. Modern houses feature reproduction carriage lamps. These are typically mounted on either side of the front door. They range in size from ten to eighteen inches in height. Antique carriage lamps burned fuel oil which was located in a fluted post below the four to six sided globe (also known as a shade). Modern reproductions still feature the fluted post but it no longer contains fuel oil.
It is possible to find genuine antique carriage lamps at yard sales or flea markets but these are most often found in antique shops, sometimes nestled among a jumble of other items. You might try shopping for antique carriage lamps on the Internet – they are quite popular there. Not only can you purchase these lamps online, that you can also purchase materials to repair or restore them. Antique carriage lamps are commonly sold in pairs because that is how they were used and a set of good quality lamps can sell for as much as $600.00.
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