My Weekly Score: Tiffany Style Butterfly Lamps

Tiffany lamps sell for a lot of money. But so do lamps that are just done in their likeness. Enter the beautiful stained glass butterfly themed lamp below:

This was in perfect condition – no chips, no cracks, no damage to speak of. It was a nice electrical table lamp that still worked. It’d be perfect for just about any room in the house – living room, bedroom, office.

We picked up this lamp for $61.60 and turned it around for $160. Not bad!

With lamps like this, it’s so important to make sure you take the extra time and effort to pack it up really well. They’re so fragile and the post office is so rough on boxes that you need to be extra careful.

Have you come across any good lamps lately?


Spotlight: Art Deco

Art Deco is a movement that was not just limited to interior design, but also influenced designs in buildings, fashion, jewelry, and art, among others. It began in the 1920s, in France, and spread across the globe. In the United States (and perhaps elsewhere, but we’ll stick to this geographical location since I’m most familiar with its timeline) it died out a bit during the 1940s and saw a resurgence around the 1960s.

It is during this timeframe that you’re probably most familiar with the term art deco. It can be described as elegant, functional, and modern. (“Modern” as seen from the perspective of someone who lived during this time. Now we would refer to this style as retro – that curvy and sleek looking décor that was popular in the Mid-century era.)

Art deco is weird. It’s ornamental and strange, often a bit outlandish and downright ugly. But it can be a cool design, especially if you have a room set up in this style – it’s very unique and eye catching. Although the materials are not limited to the following, you often see lots of aluminum, stainless steel, and chrome, along with Bakelite, inlaid wood, and just plastic in general.

The design is very geometrical and symmetrical. Curves were popular, but they’re less natural looking (which would be more along the lines of an Art Nouveau style). It’s more about solid colors than patterns, and most pieces are formed into shapes, rather than having patterns with shapes in them.

Although we could pull examples from several different types of media, I find that it’s much easier to see this style when looking at lamps. The ones you’ll find below are all from our own shop and can be described as art deco – elegant, modern, functional, geometrical, and symmetrical.

(Note: As with most things, defining an artistic movement is difficult and not at all straightforward. Some of these lamps are undoubtedly of this style, while others have simply just taken certain elements from it.)

Do you like the art deco style? Which one of those lamps jumps out at you the most?

How to Sell: Lamps

So, The Boss has this habit. She likes to buy these beautiful, gorgeous, antique lamps.

They’re all beautiful. And gorgeous. And antique.

And very, very big. And old. And breakable.

Very, very, very breakable.

We’ve begged her not to buy anymore, but what can we do? She’s The Boss.

All joking aside, the lamps she comes home with are *usually* pretty nice. The hanging lamps and chandeliers are often from the Victorian era and have been hand painted or were made with blown glass. You can’t get a whole lot more authentic than that.

Sometimes she comes home with these, erm, interesting art deco lamps. They’re big and clunky and retro and hideous.

For the record, I really liked these lamps. I'm still kind of sad that we sold them.

But all of these lamps have one single thing in common (okay, two things if you count that they’re all lamps): they all sell really well online.

People love this stuff! Check out this cool blog from a fellow vintage lover where he details his affection for midcentury light fixtures. And he’s not alone! There are tons of people who want to decorate a certain room in their house with a 50’s lamp or a 19th century chandelier. And I don’t blame them!

So, here’s what you should look for when trying to resell lamps:

1. Make sure it works. If this is a regular table lamp, this is vital. Generally people don’t want to mess with wiring. They just want to get it, plug it in, and start appreciating it. If you’ve got older pieces, this isn’t as big of a deal. Sometimes the wires are old or were connected directly into the house’s wiring (rather than just plugging it into an outlet), so people will understand if they need to do a little DIY work to it. Obviously if it does work, that’s always a plus.

2. Condition. Cracks, chips, scratches, and missing parts or paint should all be noted. I’ve found that a little wear to a lamp isn’t that big of a deal because it gives a more vintage feel to it. Regardless, condition should always be noted.

Prisms are a pain, but people love them. This is an example of a lamp that we pieced out (more on that below).

3. Style. We have a pretty solid rule around here: “If it’s absolutely hideous and you’d never, in a million years, ever put it in your own home…buy it.” It might sound like I’m joking, but I’m not. We do this all the time. And it works. People like really unique things – conversation starters. And there are a lot of people on eBay and they all have really different tastes. So, just because you wouldn’t (ever in a million years) buy it for yourself, doesn’t mean no one else would!

4. Shipability. No, that’s not a real word, but I’m using it anyway. It’s important to realize that if you’re selling your lamp(s) online, you’re going to have to ship it across the country or across the world. If you’ve got a huge set of glass Gone with the Wind lamps, you’re going to have to take great care to ship them so they don’t break. This can get expensive! Decide if you want to take the time to box them up and ship them out and, if you do, keep an eye on your price limit and calculate your time and effort into that.

I am *not* looking forward to the day that someone buys these. Oh, wait, I don't do the shipping anymore. Muahahahaha!

And when you get to putting up the lamp online:

1. Take great care in building your title. Use synonyms like “lamp” and “light.” Is it an electric lamp or a kerosene/hurricane lamp? Desk light or hanging chandelier?  Is it Victorian or art deco? (<< That’s very important! Make sure you use one or the other if it applies!) I always make sure I put the word “works” in the title, too. (Unless, of course, it doesn’t work.)

2. Describe. Be honest when you describe condition, especially when it comes to the wiring. If the cord needs to be replaced, make sure you mention that. Chances are it won’t affect your sale all that much. Be sure to mention the dimensions, too! (This is especially true for hanging lamps, because people will want to make sure it won’t hang too low.)

3. Be very clear about how you will ship your lamp. If it has to go into more than one box, mention it in the listing AND put “Box 1/2,” “Box 2/2” on the packages. Also make sure you give yourself plenty of time to package up the lamp. If you normally ship within 24 hours, consider telling your buyer it may take a little longer. There’s no point in rushing if that means possibly breaking the lamp!

Also, note that lamp parts and pieces – even partial sets of lamps – sell really well on eBay too! It’s great for people who need them to fix up the lamps they already have. And you can sell them in large lots – easy peasy!

We ended up selling the shade to the lamp above separately because it was original to the other pieces.

So, overall, lamps can be pretty time intensive. BUT, they can also bring you a lot of return. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you think it’s worth it, but we feel that it is! (Or, at least, The Boss does, and that’s all that really matters in the end!)

Word of the Week: Gone with the Wind Lamps

Gone with the wind lamps are beautiful pieces of work. By definition, they are lamps with decorated round globes and matching bases.








These lamps are not only appealing because of their beauty, but because of their age. This style was developed in the Victorian era – the late 1800’s. If you’ve got an original lamp from this time period, it can be worth a lot of money! Even some of the reproduction ones are incredible and will fetch a good amount.








These lamps were originally filled with oil, but many people have since converted them into electric table lamps. While an original untouched lamp will get you a lot more, any of these choices will bring you a nice chunk of change.

Got any questions? Let me know and I’ll be sure to answer them in the comments below.