Shade Parade

When I spotted the lamp through the window of High Park Antiques (342 High Park Avenue, 416.534.3833), it called to me like a glowing, blue beacon. The shop was closed so I phoned and left a message stating my interest. When the proprietor rang back to inform me that the lamp was still available priced at $60 I committed to taking it, never mind that I hadn’t actually seen the piece up close and personal.

On Saturday I picked up my new baby and immediately confronted a couple of issues, namely what style and size of shade to use and whether or not to polish the rather tarnished brass. Both questions were answered when I got home and did a search of where I found the three examples pictured above. That’s right, my $60 lamp is a 1stdibs habitué and you know what that means . . . crazy, stupid prices.

My lamp is a Stiffel and is marked as such on the socket. The lamps above are all from sets of two and, of course, pairs are far more valuable than singles. Still, the twins in question are priced at $3,750 (sans shades), $2,950 (with shades) and $4,200 (with shades). Like I said, crazy stupid. My friend Susan, who was with me when I collected the lamp, found a pair on eBay that sold for $450, a relative steal and for all I know, they could be one of the pairs now on 1stdibs ’cause that’s how it works, folks.

As for the shade and the tarnish, seeing the lamps gussied up I’ve decided I will definitely polish my Stiffel and I’ll go with a white barrel shade in the same proportion as the one top right. And I know that from now until the day I die, I will be ever on the lookout for a mate for my single Stiffel.

Finally, a remark about statement lamps. When I’m flipping through decor porn my eyes always go straight to the lighting; lamps and fixtures are like jewellery in a room or punctuation in a sentence, never underestimate their power to set a tone or hit a particular note. My lamp is huge, 32″ to the top of the socket, which means that by the time I put a harp and shade on it, it will stand more than 3′ tall. That’s a pretty significant player in any room scheme — factor in the startling colour and my Stiffel is destined to be a star.

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Monday, April 23, 2012 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 845 posts on styleNorth.

20 Comments For This Post

  1. Lois Says:

    Good morning CHRIS, love the lamp and so true about lighting often overlooked and as most designers agree it’s all in the details…Gayle of personally I like the *red* shade enjoy

  2. Marilyn Says:

    Now you’ve got a project to keep you going again. Looking forard to seeing the results. Love it!

  3. Michelle Says:

    If you don’t mind my asking,where do you buy your shades? I discovered Aristocrat lightling right before they closed, so now I’m looking for another source for shades is various sizes.

  4. Clare Says:

    Dang! Love it!

  5. Susan@TributeDecor Says:

    Great score Chris, love the shape and the fabulous colour! Will keep my eye out for her partner.

  6. shescomeundone Says:

    Is there a prize for the reader who find it’s mate? At a similar bargain rate of course ;)

  7. Maggie Says:

    Fabulous lamp! Well done. As for shade, I would keep looking – not sure any of those work for me. What about yellow with that blue? It would also pick up on the gold. Just an idea : )

  8. Gabi Says:

    FABULOUS!! Love the lamps and shades, a new source to check out!!

  9. Magda Says:

    How beautiful. Great find.

  10. Taylor de Sa Says:

    Congrats on the fabulous deal! You have such a great eye… I wish I had your talent.

  11. Chris Says:

    Michelle, like you, I’ve been lost without Aristocrat.
    Homesense is now my fail-safe but their shades tend to be of similar size. When I need to try a range of options, I use Royal Lighting on Avenue Road, which is never cheap, but always reliable quality. For custom work I turn to Lia at Mod Pieces.

  12. Tina from Spot On Says:

    Oh my goodness! She’s a beauty!!

  13. margo Says:

    Hi, I hardly dare say it, because you have such great taste, but I agree with Maggie the white shade does not do it for me.

    Love the lamp.



  14. Gus Says:

    The ‘Stiffel’ link is just an advertising aggregator. Stiffel went out of business years ago.


  15. Chris Says:

    Thanks Gus. I’ve removed the link.

  16. Liza Vandermeer Says:

    What a beautiful shade of blue. Such a rush when you find a great score like that, isn’t it?

  17. Lin Says:

    What a stunner! For what it’s worth, I vote for a shade that’s the shape of the black one, though not necessarily in black. The scale and shape of the white one is just a bit off and the middle one is too mid-mod for the base. As for colour, well, red is just plain wrong.

    But don’t keep us in suspense , , , Are you keeping or selling?

  18. Wanda Says:

    Really gorgeous lamp. What a great find. I should be so lucky….or maybe talented to spot it as you did!

  19. Chris Says:

    I plan to keep it! My current apartment hasn’t worked out and I’m moving again so I’ll show off the lamp in my new space in June.

  20. David Says:

    Lamp freak that I am you can imagine how happy for you I am. It’s really super. I’ll be looking for a mate for you too now, you never know where things will turn up.

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