How To Use Victorian Lamps And Shades


How To Use Victorian Lamps And Shades

Victorian lamps and shades were widely used, and usually Victorian lamps were placed on a small side table by the side of each chair in the parlour where people might read, knit, or sew. This gave a bright pool of light in the important spot where it was required for close up work. Lamps continue to be used in this way. We tend to use a large overhead light to provide general illumination in the room with specific pools of light provided by lamps.

Just because our lighting requirements are exacting, it does not mean that we cannot use lamps that are practical, beautiful and in keeping with the décor of a period home. There are a wide variety of attractive table lamps available that complement a Victorian interior. These lights can be perfect tools for paper work in studies and offices, for reading in an armchair and for lighting up specific areas in your home such as paintings and ornaments.

Lead crystal table Victorian lamps and shades

The Victorian Emporium's crystal table lamp

What materials are used to make Victorian lamps?

Victorian table lamps traditionally used china, glass, porcelain, bronze or brass bases. Many traditional china lamps emulate Chinese vase designs and are highly decorative and colourful with designs that include animals and trees, plants and dragons in rich deep hues such as reds and golds. These are best matched with coordinating but fairly plain lamp shades in cotton, linen or chiffon in neutral colours that allow the china base design to sing.

Ginger jar Victorian table lamp with shade

The Victorian Emporium's Morris table lamp

Brass bases are most often designed to look a little like candlestick holders. Bronze lamp bases tend to be more along the lines of decorative figurines featuring nude women, animals and plants.

Ornate victorian table lamp

Victorian lamp at Cragside

Traditional Victorian desk lamps look great on a large Walnut and Leather topped desk in a high ceilinged Victorian study. The most common type of Victorian desk lamp is the bankers lamp with its green glass shade, but a steampunk inspired brass lamp that would be equally at home in a laboratory is a choice that smacks of originality and good taste.

Locomotive Steampunk desk lamp

The Victorian Emporium's desk lamp

Victorian wall lamps or sconces are useful devices to add a larger pool of light than a general ceiling light to specific areas. These are often used around dining rooms where lighting needs to be soft around the table area, but brighter over sideboards and dressers where food and drinks are served. It is possible to buy lighting in sets with matching table lamps, wall sconces and overhead ceiling lights. These work really well in Bohemian crystal or in lights with brass frames and glass shades.

Crystal table lamp

The Victorian Emporium's crystal table lamp

victorian lighting collection

These can be complemented with traditional standard lamps, floorstanding lamps which often look just like giant table lamps. Standard lamps, being so large in scale can take a really ornate and interesting lamp shade.


The Victorian Emporium sells a wide range of Victorian lamps, ceiling lights and wall sconces

For more tips and advice from some of our customers, have a read of our article "Things I wish I'd known before buying my period house".

Categories: Lighting, Rooms   Tags: lighting