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    Auction Finds

    Awesome table lamps

    This week, one of my favorite auction houses had one of its modern design sales. I don’t normally pay much attention to them because they consist largely of modern furniture – which does not go with my décor at home.

    More importantly, though, the prices for many of the items – designer names you’d see in high-end home magazines – are much too rich for me. But this week, as I was admiring some of the furniture, I was struck by a lamp whose glass shade was in the shape of an urn.

    Now that was a gorgeous lamp. Its base was gold leaf, and sitting there on the table it was making a bold statement – so bold that it seemed to be talking to me. The auction sheet described it as a “Murano Venetian Glass Trumpet Shade Table Lamp.” It later sold for $425.

    Then I started to notice the other lamps in the room, and realized that this trumpet lamp had pretty heady company. Stationed throughout the room were other lamps just as lovely and striking as this one. Several were Murano glass, which has been made for centuries by artisans on the island of Murano, just off the coast of Venice, Italy, and is highly prized.

    The most colorful at the auction was a trio of modern glass lamps that had a 1960s feel (like the wax separating inside a lava lamp). They were ruby, cobalt blue and gray, all cased glass, according to the auction sheet. There on the table, all lighted up, they glowed. One of them was apparently damaged. The lot sold for $110.

    Next, I noticed a sleek lamp – also made of cased glass – with light brown stripes against an off-white background, with a white shade and scooped wooden base. It was described as a “Murano Venetian Art Glass Table Lamp. Cased glass.” Boy, would that look lovely on my table. It sold for $1,300.

    Next, I found a round pot-bellied lamp – beige and brown, ceramic, painted and carved. It went unsold, even at $10. I was tempted, but passed on it.

    Next was a Faux Lizard and Lucite lamp, shaped like a pencil. I wasn’t around when it sold.


    The others included a pair of brass and metal “Leaping Gazelle” table lamps,. A pink art glass Murano table lamp – “flame shaped pink,” the auction sheet said. A pair of nude (female) figural lamps on a stone base. A chrome floor lamp topped with a fringed “Hula Skirt” shade in off-white. A Lucite stacked table lamp.  

    In another room, I came across another grouping of lamps – three in antique gilt, another in a brown earth tone. Three were described on the bid sheet as “Nielsen Mayne Star Table Lamps” and the other “Nielsen Mayne Earth Table Lamp.” They still bore the label from the store from where they had once resided: Christopher Norman Inc. in Manhattan, New York. All had list prices of $1,000 and $1,100. I was not around when they were auctioned.

    I’m not a lamp person so I’m not sure if these were good buys or not, but I was just taken with the artistry of some of these lamps. Just amazing. Click on first photo below rather than viewing through PicLens.

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