Art Deco Figural LampsBy

Art Deco
Figural Lamps

The flapper girl look of the Art Deco period has been popular since it began after WW I. That popularity has apparently inspired a series of Deco figural lamps.

All the new lamps shown here are cast from zinc in the United States. Most are mounted on the same type of triangular-shaped base with a point cut off (see illustration). The shades are basically a fan-shaped piece of glass. The glass fits into a slot behind the figures and in front of a light bulb (Fig. 1). Most of the lamps are available in three finishes: antique brass (plated), black paint or unfinished bare metal.

Any lamp found with the fan shaped glass should be suspect. Authentic Deco lamps virtually never had this type of shade--it is not attached to the base and is easily knocked over. The unsightly bulb socket is also exposed on the back and two sides.

With the exception of Fig. 9, these new lamps are not direct copies of originals but are attempts to capture the Art Deco period `look'. Wholesale prices were $19-$33 for the bases; wiring and fan shaped glass is extra.

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Fig. 1

Fig. 1 A side view of the new lamps. The fan shaped glass fits in a slot in front of the bulb.

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Base Top view, with measurements of the base used on Figs. 2-7

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Fig. 2

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Fig. 3

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Fig. 4

Figs. 2-4 Note that the lamps in Figs. 2-4 have the same base. The standing woman lamp in Fig. 2 is 9 3/4" high; the woman with bird in Fig. 3 is 8"; the kneeling woman in Fig. 4 is 6 1/2". These lamps are sold unwired and without the glass. You can expect to find many possible combinations or 'marriages' between old and new parts, shades and bases.

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Fig. 5

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Fig. 6

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Fig. 7

Figs. 5-7 These lamps also use a fan-shaped sheet of glass for a shade like the previous lamps. The diagonally posed nude in Fig. 5 is 7 1/2", the dancing woman in Fig. 6 is 7 1/2", and the double figure base in Fig. 7 is 8 1/8". All the lamps shown are available in three finishes: black paint, antique brass (plated), or bare metal.

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Fig. 8 Fan shaped glass shade shown installed in a standing lady lamp base. The base is 10". In this base, the glass sheet is held by the "V" shaped holder above the woman's head. This base is made with an antique brass or shiny brass under lacquer finish.

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Fig. 9 The lamp base in Fig. 9 above, is the only direct copy of an original Art Deco base. It is cast zinc with an antique brass finish; comes with a fitter collar for 2 1/4" globe shades. Measures 4 1/2" to top of head, a little over 8" long.