The most perilous time in a vintage lamp’s lifecycle starts when it leaves its original home – where the worst it’s likely to have suffered is a layer of dust, a few spots of ceiling paint and a coating of cigarette smoke. As it embarks upon the journey towards its next long-term installation it’s at risk of being bashed, scratched, exposed to damp, or even losing some of its parts.
Although a growing number of antique/second-hand dealers and charity/recycling shops do treat such lamps with the respect they deserve, many others are still piling them high in a tangled jumble without a care for their well-being. And a sad destiny awaits those that end up in one of the farmers’ barns that double as part-time junk shops if they don’t sell quickly – rust will set in and eat them alive. They will be lucky to escape without damage. Fortunately and perhaps surprisingly, many do.