Antique Kerosene Lamps

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2015-06-26 11:16:45

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Antique Kerosene Lamps (also known as paraffin lamps) are collectible antique lamps which use kerosene as fuel.

Brief history and description

Antique kerosene lamps were mass-produced in North America during the 19th century, and were typically built with a metal base and a burner while the glass was bought from a separate manufacturer. However, although the origins of the kerosene lamp date all the way back to the 9th century in Baghdad, modern versions of the kerosene lamp were later built by Ignacy Lukasiewicz (a Polish inventor) in 1853 as well as by the American inventor Robert Edwin Dietz.

Notable auction sales

Antique kerosene wall lamps

Rich Penn Auctions in Waterloo, Iowa sold an adjustable brass kerosene wall lamp with a highly figural font holder and an antique ball shade (circa 1890s) for $3,400 in April of 2006.

Converted antique kerosene lamps

Antique Place in Hallandale, Florida sold:

  • An antique silver overlay parlor/kerosene lamp (that was recently converted to an electric lamp) with a man holding a hat and a feather as its base and a green, amber and white globe for $3,000 in November of 2006.
  • An antique silver overlay parlor/kerosene lamp (that was converted to an electric lamp) with a man holding a hat and feather as its base and a green, amber and white globe for $2,666 in May of 2007.

Neal Auction Company in New Orleans, Louisiana sold a Cornelius & Co. gilt lacquered bronze solar lamp (which was converted to kerosene) with an antique shade, and chimney/crystal prisms (circa 1845) for $1,400 in September of 2011.

Antique kerosene bracket lamps

Neal Auction Company in New Orleans, Louisiana sold two antique American gilt and patinated bronze/brass solar bracket lamps with kerosene burners, lip chimneys and shades mounted on wooden backplates (circa 1858) for $2,300 in June of 2011.

Antique kerosene parlor lamps

New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc. in New Orleans, Louisiana sold:

  • Two Anglo-American brass/cranberry glass kerosene parlor lamps with cranberry glass chimneys and bowl-form shades of floral-etched colorless glass (circa 19th century) for $1,100 in December of 2009.
  • Two Anglo-American brass/cranberry glass kerosene parlor lamps (circa 19th century) with cranberry glass chimneys and bowl-form shades of floral-etched colorless glass for $1,500 in March of 2010.

Antique Victorian kerosene lamps

Ken's Antiques and Auction in Adairsville, Georgia sold two Victorian gilt Cherub kerosene lamps with hand painted shades and crystal prisms for $1,200 in February of 2005.

TW Conroy, LLC in Elbridge, New York sold an antique Victorian figural brass kerosene/oil lamp with a painted milk glass ball shade and a cherub-holding amphora column for $1,000 in April of 2005.

Antique kerosene salon lamps

New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc. in New Orleans, Louisiana sold:

  • A French gilt-brass and carrara marble kerosene salon lamp (circa 19th century) in a Louis XVI style with hooved feet and a marble base set with six gilt-brass plaques for $1,300 in October of 2009.
  • A French gilt-brass and carrara marble kerosene salon lamp (circa 19th century) in a Louis XVI style with hooved feet and a marble base set with six gilt-brass plaques for $1,400 in September of 2

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Guide for collectors

Antique kerosene lamps are considered to be more rare than restored antique kerosene lamps. Victorian-style kerosene lamps tend to be more popular among collectors as well.

Restoration of an antique kerosene lamp is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. (However, if you do restore an antique kerosene lamp it may reduce its value).

For more information regarding where to find antique kerosene lamps, visit Antique Lamp Supply.

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