Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Finds: The Lamp of My Dreams (1940's Tv Lamp)

Good morning!

How was your weekend? I went up on a little two-day getaway to Louisville and poked around in the antique stores and peddler's marts with my extremely indulgent husband ("If you see any crazy quilts laying around, sing out, brother," would be my last words to my beloved as I would scurry off into the darkness of some junk store's far corners). While having a room with a hot tub in it and coming across a COPS marathon on cable tv were the highlights, I would be lying if I didn't say I was SO EXCITED to bring home some loot of vintage extraction from far off hunting grounds in the Bluegrass state. What I love the most? Oh, just this lamp. I hope you're not tired of hearing about junk I drag into my house, because you know I'm not tired of telling you about it!

Me, this morning, admiring away. Note the new Sisters (1973)  poster in the background, added bonus!
As I sing a paen of love to my lamp, along the lines of and with apologies to Billie Holiday's "The Man I Love"... HOW COULD I LOVE A LAMP MORE. We were in the basement of an antique mall in Louisville proper when I saw this lamp base sitting all on its lonesome in a sparsely populated booth. There were some McCoy vases on a shelf, a couple pieces of Fiestaware, and this GREAT BIG HUNK OF GORGEOUS perched enchantingly on top of a chest of drawers. I might have actually done a little gasp of delight. Ya gotta act cool when you're out negotiating deals. I could not act cool.

Is it not beautiful? Does it not look like something Billy Haines would use to decorate Marlene Dietrich's 1940's ultra glamorous pied à terre with? At fifty dollars, it was way the frank more than I usually shell out for a trinket or bauble around the dream price on this would have been about half that. Matthew rationalized that I would only end up spending that amount in smaller increments over the course of our trip to fill the lamp shaped hole in my heart...and danged if I didn't agree with him.

Now, when I found the lamp, it only had the pole and lighting element, with some kind of huge, round, outdoor light bulb. Like Blanche du Bois, I can't stand a naked bulb-- as you may remember from earlier posts, I hoard both whipstitch lamp shades and vintage ceramic diffusers for the very purpose of stylishly hiding unsightly, shade-less bulbs from public view. I think this shade, which I originally used on a harlequin base I also found in Louisville, goes great with the whole show-stopping vibe of the ibex base. Do you love how dramatic the black coloring of the animal's figure is against the subtle turquoises and purplish midnight blue of the long planter type thing?

Did you know that's the kind of animal featured here? I had to google "animals with curved horns" before I came across that specific descriptor. While the sleekness of the art deco design and the legs-for-days of this particular figure may look more like a deer, in real life, an ibex is a kind of mountain goat. You learn something every day! You can see more beautiful examples of the creatures in art and decoration via this Pinterest search

Ok, the weirdest part of this lamp's story-- when I got home, I searched high and low online for another of these pieces, to see if I'd done well or ok or kind of bad by shelling out half a C note for this little piece of loveliness:

YES! SCORE! While I know the internet is full of pie in the sky prices, I can't tell you what a relief it is to my spendthrifty little heart to find out at least there aren't a million of these out there, and at least I didn't get hornswoggled in the deal (see the link here). What's even more interesting than the price, however, is that my lamp was rewired and modified by someone at some point to change it from tv lamp (which is what this guy is, with a small space in the back along the planter-esque space for a bulb to illuminate the figure from behind) to a full on lamp-lamp. When I looked it over, there's some kind of fixative in the well where the single bulb would have been (plaster of Paris? Something semi-solid) from which the lamp's post extends. Weird, huh? I love the idea of some guy whose wife wanted a new lamp in the fifties going "Whaddya want a new lamp for? This one suits me just fine!" "Yes, but it's not a proper LAMP lamp, it's just a tv lamp!" "We'll see about THAT!"

So! Enough gushing for one day, suffice it to say that I am in love. How about you? Did you find anything good out at the sales this weekend? I have more loot, but I'll have to save it until tomorrow! I gotta go grab some lunch and then get back to the business of providing quality phone reference to all you library patrons out there in the Nashville area. Orrrrr at least the best I can do on a bellyful of grape leaves. :)

Have a great Monday! I'll see you back here tomorrow! Til then.


  1. I did not know that ibex home decor had it's moment in the sun, but I am glad it did.

  2. Oh my....that is incredible! What a score find!

  3. its so beautiful! i spent that much on my poodle lamp. i didn't want to, but travis was similar to matthew. i would have spent that much on other stuff soon, and i had been looking for cool lamps!

  4. dangggg look at that majestic ibex! you find the most "lisa" things!

  5. Score!!! Congrats on such a fab find!

  6. I'm a cheap person most of the time but think you should absolutely spend money on things you really love. One of those things is lighting and I will spend money on what I truly want. Love that lamp, you did the right thing.



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