Vintage Wall Sconces
Vintage Wall Sconces are original wall-mounted light fixtures.
Brief history and description
A wall sconce (commonly known as a wall lamp) is a light fixture that is attached to the wall with the light direction of the sconce is aimed up towards the ceiling. Wall sconces are most commonly placed in hallways or corridors to help provide adequate lighting along long, dark passages.
Vintage wall sconces were typically manufactured in the late 19th or early 20th century, and were commonly used to decorate Victorian, Tudor, Colonial or Bungalow-style houses.
Wall sconces are generally placed a quarter of the distance up from the floor to the ceiling, and the distance between each sconce is usually equal to the distance of each sconce from the floor.
Notable auction sales
Vintage wall sconces
Christie's in London sold two polychrome and parcel gilt-wood wall sconces (circa 20th century) for £36,800 in September of 1995.
Christie's in New York sold:
- Two silvered metal and glass wall sconces for $19,550 in April of 1996.
- A gilt-bronze and favrile glass wall sconce for $6,325 in March of 1994.
- A pair of mahogany and leaded glass wall sconces (circa 1907) for $46,000 in December of 1994.
- A pair of rock crystal and enameled bronze wall sconces (circa 1925) for $46,000 in April of 1997.
- Four metal and cut glass wall sconces (circa 20th century) for $1,320 in July of 2007.
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales Ltd. in Hillsborough, North Carolina sold two wall sconces with two lighted arms and a twisted crystal plume, along with a vintage crystal chandelier with five lighted arms for $550 in December of 2011.
Schmidt's Antiques Inc. in Ypsilanti, Michigan sold two vintage French wall sconces (circa 1930s; 16" in height) with a worn, silver plated finish, "curtain" shades, sea-green glass tiles in metal framed with scrolled tops for $2,750 in May of 2010.
Neal Auction Company in New Orleans, Louisiana sold two gilt brass and bronze French Neoclassical wall sconces with a beribboned backplate and a pair of French horn candle arms (16.75" in height) for $600 in May of 2010.
Glass wall sconces
Christie's in London sold two glass wall sconces and a ceiling fixture for £2,875 in October of 1998.
Bronze wall sconces
Christie's in London sold a barnard, bishop and barnard cast bronze wall sconce which were designed by Thomas Jekyll for £10,575 in May of 2001.
Christie's in New York sold two gilt-bronze wall sconces (circa 20th century) for $2,880 in July of 2007.
Brass wall sconces
Vintage Galleries in Stamford, Connecticut sold a set of four French gilt brass wall sconces (32" in height) for $575 in September of 2010.
Christie's in New York sold four brass single arm wall sconces (circa 20th century) for $3,360 in November of 2006.
Silver wall sconces
Christie's in Amsterdam sold two silver-plated wall sconces (circa 20th century) for €3,600 in December of 2005.
Guide for collectors
Bronze and silver wall sconces are considered to be more rare than white glass wall sconces with painted black decorations.
Restoration of a vintage wall sconce is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. (However, restoring a wall sconce may decrease its value).
For more information regarding vintage wall sconces, visit Barn Light Electric.
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