Learn the worth of different antique electric hurricane lamps with this informative article. Discover the history and factors that affect their price, examples of antique lamps, and estimated value.
Electric hurricane lamps were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The lamp is typically made of a glass or crystal shade that covers a light bulb and a metal or ceramic base that houses the electrical components. They were designed to withstand wind and other weather conditions, hence the name “hurricane” lamps.
Today, antique electric hurricane lamps are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts for their historical and aesthetic value.
Brief History of Hurricane Lamps
The first hurricane lamps were invented in the late 1700s, and they were typically made of glass with a metal base and a wick that was fueled by oil. These lamps were widely used throughout the 1800s and into the early 1900s.
Hurricane lamps were originally designed to be portable and easy to use, with a clear glass or plastic chimney to protect the flame from wind and rain. They were commonly used in homes, boats, and other outdoor settings.
During the 20th century, electric lighting largely replaced hurricane lamps, leading to their change from oil-based to electric. Today, third-world countries still use original hurricane lamps as a reliable light source during power outages or in areas without electricity.
They are also popular with campers and hikers needing a portable, reliable light source. Many modern hurricane lamps use other fuel types, such as propane or butane, and some are battery-powered.
Factors Affecting the Value of Antique Electric Hurricane Lamps
The base of the lamp was usually made of metal or wood. Lamps made of brass or copper are considered more valuable.
A lamp in excellent condition and has all its original parts and components will typically be worth more than one that is damaged, missing parts, or has been repaired or restored.
Brand and manufacturer
Antique electric hurricane lamps from well-known brands or manufacturers are generally more valuable. The manufacturers include:
- Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company
- Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company
- Dietz Company
- Miller & Company
Style and design
Some antique electric hurricane lamps have intricate or ornate designs, making them highly sought after by collectors.
The provenance or history of the lamp can also influence its value. If it has a notable history or a famous or important person has owned it, it may be more valuable than a similar lamp with no such history.
Antique Electric Hurricane Lamps Value
Initially meant for oil and kerosene use, most antique electric hurricane lamps you'll find today are those converted for electrical use.
Tiffany Studios Electric Hurricane Lamp
- Priced at $27,500
The renowned Tiffany Studios designed this vintage lamp. It is made of high-quality materials, such as bronze, glass, and colorful stained glass panels, often arranged in intricate patterns.
The lamp features a base that houses the electric components and supports a glass globe or hurricane shade that surrounds the light source. Intricate designs and patterns adorn the shade, often characteristic of Tiffany's signature style. A pull chain or switch typically operates the lamp, and some models may include a dimmer control or other features that allow you to adjust the brightness of the light.
One of the main advantages of the Tiffany Studios electric hurricane lamp is its unique and exquisite design. The intricate and colorful stained glass panels create a mesmerizing play of light and color, which can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. The high-quality materials and craftsmanship also ensure the lamp is durable and long-lasting.
This pair of hurricane lamps from the studio is a prized possession for collectors. They were sold at a Christie's auction in 2016 for $27,500.
Pair of French Gilt Bronze Hurricane Lamps
- Priced at $4,250
This pair of French Gilt Bronze Hurricane Lamps is a stunning example of mid-19th-century craftsmanship. Each lamp stands at an impressive height of 41 inches (104.14 cm) with a base diameter of 9 inches (22.86 cm). The lamps feature bronze mounts with gold accents, adorned with intricate hand-crafted designs and delicate crystal prisms.
These French Gilt Bronze Hurricane Lamps were made in the mid-19th century, representing a unique period in French history and design. Their exceptional craftsmanship and intricate detailing make them a true testament to the skill and artistry of the time.
Sold at a Heritage Auctions sale in 2019 for $4,250, these lamps are a rare and valuable find that would make a stunning statement piece in any room.
Victorian EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) Electric Hurricane Lamp
- Priced at $115
This type of antique lamp was popular in the late 19th century. It was made of shelled glass and contained oil.
The lamp features a short stem often adorned with intricate hanging details. The middle part is usually made of metal and finished with a layer of brass or another metallic finish.
At the top of the stem is a bowl-shaped shade, which may be etched or decorated with patterns or designs. The shade is held in place by a metal collar or finial that sits atop the stem.
Antique Fenton GWTW Amber Glass Electric Hurricane Lamp – Bronze Flowers
- Priced at $99
This vintage lamp features an amber glass globe or hurricane shade adorned with hand-painted flowers and supported by a bronze-colored metal base.
The amber glass and hand-painted flowers create a warm and inviting ambiance, while the bronze-colored base adds a touch of sophistication and elegance. The lamp can be used as a functional lighting solution or as a decorative accent in any room of your home.
Antique Crystal Hurricane Boudoir Mantle Lamps with Etched Globes and Prisms
- Priced at $49.95
They're decorative lighting fixtures popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These lamps feature a crystal hurricane shade designed to protect the flame of a small oil or kerosene lamp. They are typically mounted on a decorative base intended to place on a mantel or boudoir table.
The etched globes and prisms on these lamps add an extra touch of elegance to the overall design and were used to refract and scatter the light in interesting and beautiful ways. These lamps were also prized for their functional qualities, as they could provide a soft, warm glow perfect for reading, writing, or other activities requiring light.
How to Care For And Maintain Antique Electric Hurricane Lamps?
Electric hurricane lamps can bring an elegant and graceful atmosphere to any home, yet they need proper maintenance to ensure that their beauty and worth are preserved. Here are some helpful tips for caring for these special pieces:
Clean the lamp thoroughly before turning it on
To maintain the nostalgic beauty of your antique hurricane lamps, it is paramount that they are cleaned adequately before lighting them. Use a soft cloth or brush to delicately remove dust build-up from their surfaces. By following these precautionary measures, you can safeguard their delicate materials and ensure that they remain stunning for years to come.
Store the lamp carefully
If you're not using your antique electric hurricane lamps, it's best to store them properly. A great way to do this is by placing them in a glass cabinet or any similar storage area, making sure to wrap them in soft fabrics first to prevent any scratches on the glass or metal surfaces.
Make sure the lamp is properly rewired
If the lamp is powered by an electric mechanism, it's important to ensure that it's properly rewired. This means that the lamp should be fitted with a new cord that can handle the voltage of your home. If you're not sure whether this is the case, it's best to have a professional take care of this for you.
Get the lamp repaired when needed
At some point, antique hurricane lamps will need to be repaired. It's important to have this done by someone who specializes in restoring antique lighting fixtures and is familiar with lamp mechanisms like these. Ensure that the person knows what they're doing to avoid any further damage to the lamp.
The value of antique electric hurricane lamps can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as age, rarity, condition, and historical significance.
These lamps were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and they are sought after by collectors and enthusiasts for their unique design and historical significance.
Some antique electric hurricane lamps can fetch high prices at auctions or antique shops, while others may be more affordable. Ultimately, the value of an antique electric hurricane lamp is determined by market demand and the overall condition and rarity of the piece.