What can you tell me about these old ceiling light fixtures?
November 21, 2010 4:22 PM   Subscribe

What can you tell me about these old ceiling light fixtures?

I was scanning some old glass plates recently, and got interested in these ceiling fixtures. The pictures were taken circa 1910, in or around Budapest.

Who designed/manufactured these ceiling lamps and what vintage are they? Also, what kind of bulbs are those in the third link below? I would love to have something like that today...

lamp 1
lamp 2
lamp 3
posted by SNACKeR to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm nowhere near an expert on this - so this is just a guess - but the fixtures in the last photo look like very tall gas or oil lamps to me.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:55 PM on November 21, 2010

Best answer: They definitely look like gas lamps to me. Rejuvenation and Schoolhouse Electric make reproduction lighting in this style.
posted by muirne81 at 5:23 PM on November 21, 2010

Best answer: #1 and #2 look like gas lamps to me: they hang from a solid pipe (as opposed to a chain) so gas can flow to the burners, and they appear to have valves (shaped like keys) on each stem so the burners can be turned on/off.

However, the glass shades on gas lamps always open upwards so the flame exhaust can escape, and there are some downward-facing shades here. In the late 19th Century, when electricity was starting to become common but wasn't yet ubiquitous, there were combination fixtures for both gas and electric lamps so builders could hedge their bets on the new technology. #1 may be a combination chandelier with 4 gas lamps above a large single electric fixture. #2 may have started out as a gas lamp, then been retrofitted for electric lighting later.

#3 has me stumped.

You can see less elaborate examples of Victorian gas and gas/electric combo fixtures at Rejuvenation (linked above), but I've never seen a commercial source for these extremely ornate Old World fin de si├Ęcle fixtures. If anybody knows of one, please link!
posted by Quietgal at 7:26 PM on November 21, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies - I hadn't thought of gas. Guess that makes it a bit harder to actually use something like this nowadays...

Oh, and note the bearskin rug in #3!
posted by SNACKeR at 9:37 PM on November 21, 2010

You can still use these styles of fixtures - many of them were converted to electricity later.
posted by infodiva at 9:25 AM on November 22, 2010

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