This post is about the trip B.H. and I took to visit his sister in Tyler TX a couple of weeks ago. She knows me well enough that the local antique mall was on the must-see list. We saw tons of fun things, which I appreciated but didn’t necessarily take pictures of, and a ton of crazy lamps. I’m sharing the lamps with you, just because I can. To paraphrase the song:
The lamps we found,
they do confound,
deep in the heart of Texas.
I’m starting you out easy, like entering a frigid swimming pool. This is you dipping your toe in the waters:
First off, my apologies for the dark, fuzzy pictures in this whole post. The place was poorly lit, it was raining outside, and most booths were using their lamps for lighting. It made for a poor picture-taking environment. So, this lamp is hard to see, but it’s one of those black panthers with a vintage lampshade. I was wondering if the shade is fiberglass; I can’t remember since I saw so many lamps that day. This isn’t the best panther I’ve ever seen; maybe I was distracted by all the gold lines. I wasn’t even tempted to buy it for $125.
Staying with the animal genre lamp:
This rare pink peacock is what I call a TV lamp; meaning you set it on top of your honking big color TV’s wooden cabinet. When I was a kid, we turned the lights off to watch TV and a light that went straight up would allow for movement without ruining your watching experience. Again, $72 is way out of my lamp budget; $5 is more like it.
This little Bambi lamp screams 1950s:
It’s pretty cute; I might have liked it better without the deer since those leaves are kind of cool. But, just leaves would have been too austere for that decade.
This light hits two of our buttons—seashells and flamingos:
We still look at flamingos even though the Summer Intern is now a towering 16 year-old boy. When he was little, he LOVED flamingos, which he called flingomes. We still like to look for flingomes for him. Plus, we are fascinated by things people make out of shells. I think this might have been a homemade project, and that both the flingome and the shells deserve better.
Before we get into the people lamps, and created-from-found-items lamps, I have one more group of animals:
The swan demonstrates the lighting capacity of these TV lamps. All I can say is that I have NEVER seen this many TV lamps in one place. They must have been extremely popular in Texas to judge from the multitude I noticed. I usually think of swans as bathroom decor way back then; now thankfully, they seem to have disappeared from interior design.
Don’t mourn the end of animal lamps, I have a number of people ones too:
I wonder if instead of a TV lamp, this debutante was used as a dressing-table light. She would encourage you to go higher with the hair and darker with the eyebrows. I kind of like her in a strange way; she looks like an average woman who is wearing a pretty dress and got her hair done. That is an achievable goal; I’m never going to look like Grace Kelly, but this girl, yeah I could have done that in my misspent youth.
This is sort of an upstairs downstairs lamp display:
I like the girl with the dogs on the bottom much better than the Regency couple in their matching white wigs on the top shelf. What was up with the 1950s obsession with the Regency period? We see infinite numbers of those bad figurines all duded up in their wigs, waistcoats, pantaloons, jackets, and gowns. They’re on the clown and seashell level of bountiful bad; we don’t take a picture unless they’re truly dreadful. I might have gotten the girl with the dogs lamp if it wasn’t the favorite price of this mart—$125. I’ll have to look at estate and garage sales. Maybe I’ll get lucky.
On the same shelf, tucked into a corner, was this lonely lady:
Another member of the Regency aristocracy wearing a giant white wig—again, I just don’t get it and we can “get” most collections. The most interesting thing about her is that she is chalkware and is sitting with a giant basket of greens, flowers, and apples (?) on her lap. Her expression is dreamy or druggy, take your pick. She is in good condition, but $95 seems overly optimistic.
This lamp is pretty odd:
I’m not sure if this is supposed to be an African-American woman; maybe the big gold hoops are a clue. But, the hair looks like one of those 1940s rolled hairdos that often look like horns. That giant conical shade coming right out of her head is the part I really don’t like. I think it would look better if it had a cool fiberglass shade six inches over her head.
The next lamps have been made from strange items or with strange decorations;
I want to like this lamp, I really do. Someone used up a lot of their trim covering up a boring plaster or wood lamp. It has so much going on; maybe I would have liked it better with a less busy shade. However, it’s still loads better than this lamp:
This probably is an idea that should have been ignored by the maker. If the body of the lamp had been some cool 1950s robot or rocket ship, that might have worked. That standard lamp base just doesn’t do a thing for the ricer shade at all.
Still making lamps in the kitchen:
I think that the silverware is attached to a fancy footed stand for a bowl. I’m not opposed to this lamp, it just isn’t my kind of thing. I could see it in someone’s kitchen or dining room if they’re into playful, fun, and busy decorations.
I am against this next lamp—vehemently:
Those old sewing machines aren’t that hard to fix, there weren’t that many moving parts on them. I wonder if it even works with that awkward-looking shade on top of it. This lamp just ain’t right!
I’m not crazy about this suitcase lamp either:
I looked at it and I think that it’s a resin suitcase, not a real one. But even so, I just don’t like the look of it, not even for your guest room. I think its fringy friend in the back is a lot more fun.
Sigh, I think I saved the best for the last:
OMG where do I even start with this lamp? This is the worst of 1970s style, both in the colors and composition. How do you make flowers this ugly and are those green things around the flowers Brussels Sprouts? Ick—not the Brussels Sprouts, I like them on a plate!!!
Well, that’s it for part one. I actually have enough nonlamp pictures for another Texas post. Don’t be afraid, there are actually a couple of good things. Please check out our Facebook page to see what goodies we don’t share here.