Ugly blue lamps
  • Any kind of lamp you can (or not) think of
  • An ethnic lamp with my name on it
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    Auction Finds

    Lying about an ugly lamp

    I spied the gaudy lamp from across the room as I stood waiting impatiently for nothing in particular to come up for auction. I was killing time, hoping that something, anything, would rise up from the auction tables and engage me.

    Nothing but the lamp called out to me, but it was not speaking my name. I apparently had ignored it on my first walk-through at the auction house, and from where I stood now, I understood why. I aimed my Droid towards it, thinking that I could take a photo from afar and wouldn’t have to walk over to photograph it. No such luck.

    So I pried myself from the spot across the room and made my way to the lamp. It didn’t get any prettier. As I focused my Droid toward the lamp, another auction-goer said to me: It’s a nice lamp. Yeah, I lied. I’m a polite person, so I didn’t want to make him feel bad for liking something I found hideous.

    The ugly metal lamp looked medieval with its cutouts and drooping arms.

    He had misinterpreted why I was taking the photo; for me, the lamp was more awful than nice. But I realized something as I drew closer to it. I saw a tinge of beauty in it – the thing you see when you go beneath the surface of some not-so-nice people to find the goodness in their hearts. Click the photo above to see a fuller view of the lamp.

    The lamp was studded with prisms that sparkled random colors in the light. I hadn’t seen that from across the room. Those fake stones made the lamp and its matching chandelier hanging overhead a lot more interesting.

    The metal (it looked like brass) foundation of the lamp and chandelier were the gaudy parts. The two pieces had leafy cutouts and small drooping hooded tentacles that made me think of a knight’s flail weapon (studded ball at the end of a chain attached to a rod). The lamp looked to be nearly 3 feet tall and had plastic inserts in the shade.

    These were not the first ugly lamps I’d seen at auction that gave me pause. I’m sure someone could walk through my house and wonder why I would pay money for what they would consider awful-looking stuff. But I think not.

    A closeup shows the prisms on the chandelier.

    I’m sure the lamp and chandelier looked lovely once in the home of someone who loved big and bold, because these were not timid pieces. I wondered what décor they went with – what furniture or tables or paintings were displayed alongside them. They looked like something you’d expect to see in a medieval castle or on the set of a Vincent Price horror movie.

    I also wondered about the style of the pieces. What was it?

    I wasn’t around when the pieces sold, but I would not be surprised if they set off a bidding war.

    This matching chandelier was also being sold with the ugly lamp at auction.


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