The great popularity of the floor standard lamp is doubtless due, in a large measure, to its graceful and pleasing appearance. With bright metal-work and pretty shade, it forms a decorative addition to any room. It also carries the light at exactly the right height for all practical purposes, being at a correct level for giving an excellent general effect of lighting in the room, yet easily lowered to any desired position for reading or working.
More, therefore, than any other form of fixture, it serves the double purpose of general and special lighting.
In London the electric form of lamp is most used, but in the country it is the oil lamp which, as a matter of necessity, holds the first position. The lamp of twisted or bent iron, of such simple construction that it can be made by a blacksmith, without requiring the art of the metal-worker at all, is practically dead. Iron is seldom used, and where it is the design is quite bold and simple, with a little relief of copper or brass. All the best lamps are now made of brass, with an oxidised silver or an oxidised copper finish. In oil lamps the attachment of a plush table has disappeared, this having been replaced by a table of Brazilian onyx. About one in ten of the oil lamps sold are fitted with these tables, often set in very elaborate ornamental metal rims. They add about 30s. or
A good Georgian design for a standard lamp carried out in oxidised silver
£2 to the cost of the lamp, unless a specially beautiful piece of onyx is used, and then the additional expense may be much more. A French gold Louis XIV. lamp with a good onyx table will cost as much as £30.
Georgian designs are very popular, and some simple but artistic models on these lines are to be had. A good one may be bought in oxidised silver for about five guineas, or in brass for about four guineas. Other simpler designs in the latter material are obtainable from 45s.; but to buy a really fine lamp a five-pound note is wanted, and it is easy to exceed this sum in buying, for instance, a charming lamp contrived with three slender supports headed at the top with little Wedgwood plaques.
The Adams period is, of course, also well represented; one pattern after this manner showing hanging strings of gold beads. A gilded vase also often plays an important part. But the name of our reigning monarch accounts for the greater popularity of anything of the Georgian period at the moment.
Modern handmade copper-work has resulted in the' production of some very fine and original designs for both electric and oil lamps, which have a decided character and charm of their own. Indeed, nothing sent out from a manufactory can ever give the same satisfaction, despite the confident declaration of an American manufacturer after visiting one of our Artsandcrafts exhibitions: "I could turn those out by the thousands from my factory." The hand-made work has a surface and a quality which is entirely lost if the same design is cast in a mould.
A beautiful modern design in copper for an oil or electric lamp
The Birmingham Guitd, Ltd.
In electric lighting one of the most delightful and useful novelties is the standard reading lamp. It stands about 4 feet 6 inches high, and has an adjustable head, which can be turned so that the light falls exactly on the book. It has also a small but solid base which takes up very little room and fits easily under the foot of an armchair. The price of such a lamp is £2 17s. 6d.
A. gas standard lamp may be unknown to some of our readers, but it is to be found in some very quaint and artistic forms, such as one would not associate with this form of lighting. Those who have a prejudice against oil, and have not the opportunity of using electricity, find this lamp exactly meets their requirements.
There is another form of lamp that may be mentioned which could be adapted for practically any form of lighting, and this is the pedestal lamp, contrived from one of the beautiful old carved wooden bed-posts. This, with a lantern-shaped lamp on it, looks extremely well in a hall.
The shade is, perhaps, a more important detail of a standard than of any other lamp, as it is so conspicuous. The Empire shade is the favourite at present (1911), and one rather regrets that it has to such a large extent ousted the handkerchief shade, weighted with its bead fringe. This latter was easily made at home; moreover, it could readily be washed when soiled.
Empire shades are generally covered with Chine or Watteau silk, as it is called, and edged with a bead fringe, though it is a newer idea to have this fringe of little loops of bebe ribbon weighted with beads. A white China silk prettily stencilled with floral designs is also much used for these shades. Either of these casts a warm and becoming radiance in the room, and also gives a good light by which to work. Another charming shade is made of pleated silk with a little
A pedestal lamp contrived from an old wooden bedpost and fitted with a lantern-shaped lamp Messrs. Bartholomew & Fletcher applique design of embroidered flowers. The effect of this is simple and good.
For a reading-lamp either a green or a yellow shade is best. One well-known oculist always recommends yellow, presumably because the light it casts more nearly resembles that of the sun's rays than any other colour.
There are also some new glass shades that have a very handsome effect, but are rather expensive. One variety is made of leaded green glass, edged with green glass beads; another is of green opal glass in a curious mushroom shape, set into a pierced gallery of metal-work. Either of these would be delightful for libraries, or for drawing-rooms furnished in the modern style.
The home-made shade must not be forgotten, for it allows.considerable scope, not only for the most enjoyable and interesting work, but for obtaining beautiful effects. There are, too, parchment shades which can be treated in a variety of ways, either painted or stencilled by hand, or adorned with ribbon work, spangles, and reproductions of old prints.
Ribbon work or embroidery on silk is also very effective, and it is wonderful how a handsome shade of this description will give an air of luxury to a plain room, as it is a thing which is extremely expensive to buy, though the cost of making it is very small. In considering how, in these days, a woman with a small income may beautify her home, one is often reminded of that delightful curtain-raiser of Sutro's, "A Maker of Men," and of how the wife looks round the simple home and expresses the joy she feels in the work that her own hands have done in making it attractive. There is no doubt that things that one has made oneself always give the most satisfaction.
The lace lampshade is another innovation of modern times, and here again is an opportunity for the home-worker. The correct shape for the shade must be cut in paper, and the design traced to suit it. The wire frame should be covered with silk, and the lace mounted over it.
An Empire shade on an oxidised silver electric lamp. These shades are usually covered with Chine or Watteau silk, edged with a bead fringe Messrs. Shoolbred