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Home » 6 Best Etsy Vintage Desk Lamps & Shades

6 Best Etsy Vintage Desk Lamps & Shades

We’ve always thought of lighting as the ‘jewelry’ of a room. That’s why it’s one of the best ways to personalize one’s space with a unique design statement. Lamps and wall shades can give the space that coveted “collected” look, and nothing beats vintage lighting when it comes to making a statement. A good vintage table lamp can define a vignette, whether it’s in the bathroom or kitchen as accent lighting or the standing lamp beside your sofa. When we went looking for them, we found that there was a certain character to every Etsy vintage desk lamp – and wall ones – that we saw. They not only added a certain something to a space, but also they were easy to find, and we didn’t have to hunt estate and garage sales and flea markets for them.

We’ve rounded up the best selection of Etsy lighting that harks back to anywhere from the 1950s to the 1980s – check out what you like.

Marvins Hall Mid-century Brass Tiered Eyeball Lamp

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The Etsy shop Marvins Hall has the best of both worlds. Whether it’s plaster lamps or Art Deco ones, this shop has it all – especially if one is still on the fence about what their interior design personality is. For a long time, we’ve been eyeing this Marvins Hall Mid-century Brass Tiered Eyeball Lamp – pun unintended. We wanted to snag this vintage brass shell desk lamp before it was gone – and so we did! This exquisite table lamp boasts a stunning gold orb design with tiered brass eyeball accents. Even though the brass shows wear, the lamp is in good vintage condition. Finally, the lamp comes with USA wiring and the five displayed light bulbs.

Choose a good desk for this table lamp – check out the best Etsy vintage desks.

Pros

  • Despite being a vintage lamp and featuring some wear, the lamp is in good condition.
  • It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind lamp.
  • The customer service is top-notch.

Cons

  • It’s better to rewire all the vintage lights.
  • It costs to ship it.
Marvins Hall Mid-century Brass Tiered Eyeball Lamp - by Etsy
Marvins Hall Mid-century Brass Tiered Eyeball Lamp – by Etsy

Curated Vintage Store French Birds Lamp

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We’ve always envisioned ourselves surrounded by vintage decor, and in our heads, the most vivid vision has been something similar to this gorgeous Curated Vintage Store French Birds Lamp. This lovely decorative bird lamp with a fabric shade was made in France and dates as far back as the 1950s! And even though it’s so, so old in age, the lamp is in a very good vintage condition. The base of the lamp is made from solid wood and features two beautifully carved ceramic birds in shades of blue, green, and other assorted pastel hues. The fabric lampshade itself diffuses the light enough for us to use this as a reading/night light. P.S.: The lamp has an old French bayonet fitting and a European plug and comes included with the light bulb.

Pros

  • It’s a very unique and one-of-a-kind vintage lamp.
  • Even though it’s quite old, it’s in excellent working condition.
  • It’s very well-designed and durable.

Cons

  • It costs to ship.
Curated Vintage Store French Birds Lamp - by Etsy
Curated Vintage Store French Birds Lamp – by Etsy

Solo Cose Belle ITA Vintage Murano Glass Wall Sconces

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There’s something innately old-world classic about wall sconces, and we fell in love with the Solo Cose Belle ITA Vintage Murano Glass Wall Sconces the minute we saw them. This set of two beautiful wall sconces is a fine piece made in Italy. The actual sconces are crystal in color, with the structure being made from durable glass. Even though it dates back to the 1960s, the sconces have practically never been used and are, thus, in virtually perfect condition. So, there are no missing parts, no cracks, no defects, and no heavy scratches either. It’s no wonder that these are very popular Etsy vintage lamp shades.

“We love the character these vintage lamp shades brought to our den – it’s made hanging out there so much cooler!”

Dizzzi

Pros

  • This vintage pair boasts the finest in Italian design.
  • The entire product has been overhauled and is in working order.
  • The sconces are safe to use and functional.

Cons

  • The bulbs aren’t included.
Solo Cose Belle ITA Vintage Murano Glass Wall Sconces - by Etsy
Solo Cose Belle ITA Vintage Murano Glass Wall Sconces – by Etsy

The White Pepper Mid-Century Accent Lamp

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Another Etsy vintage desk lamp we absolutely loved was The White Pepper Mid-Century Accent Lamp. This utterly charming and unique mid-century ceramic lamp dates back to the 1950s and is still in good vintage condition overall, with no cracks or chips. That’s what impressed us about the lamp at first sight. What’s more, we loved the design of the lamp, which sits atop three wooden ball feet. In fact, the design made us think that it’s a lamp we could swing with our hands, but it’s actually a table lamp! The entire thing is fastened to a piece of metal, with a detailed brass scroll feature in the middle. Finally, the original brass harp at the top literally tops off the rest of this gorgeous green lamp.

How about pairing this cool lamp with an equally cool vintage Etsy clock?

Pros

  • We loved the unique green color of the lamp, which pairs well with the brass design.
  • It’s a unique vintage lamp and a rare find.
  • It’s functional!

Cons

  • Since it’s a rare find, it’s expensive.
The White Pepper Mid-Century Accent Lamp - by Etsy
The White Pepper Mid-Century Accent Lamp – by Etsy

The Copper Quill Vintage Tole Gooseneck Desk Lamp

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We felt like an English detective from the 1950s when we saw The Copper Quill Vintage Tole Gooseneck Desk Lamp. It brought a stunning midcentury vibe to our writing space thanks to the Tole-style design. It boasts a powder blue base and stem, a white shade interior, white trim, and the French blue head, which beautifully complements the space. Moreover, we could easily adjust the lamp height and the light source due to the thoughtful design. If that wasn’t enough, there’s even a thoughtful lip lining one edge of the shade, which shielded us from direct bulb exposure even further. Finally, we could easily turn the lamp on and off with the simple black turn switch on the side.

Pros

  • This vintage lamp comes with a bulb included and is in perfect working condition. 
  • There’s an original “Underwriters Laboratories” sticker on the base’s bottom.
  • It’s in remarkably good vintage condition.

Cons

  • There’s just a very tiny amount of rust between the joints of the gooseneck, which is repairable, though.
The Copper Quill Vintage Tole Gooseneck Desk Lamp - by Etsy
The Copper Quill Vintage Tole Gooseneck Desk Lamp – by Etsy

Collector Gift Vintage Telephone Lamp

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There’s no way this Collector Gift Vintage Telephone Lamp wasn’t making it to the top of the list! Not only is it great to look at, but it’s also a fabulous and really fun way to upcycle a relic from our childhoods! And, of course, it’s a great conversation piece, too! The nostalgic rotary phone meets art in this gorgeous pink-colored vintage lamp, which occupies a pride of place in our writing den. Aside from its excellent looks, the phone lamp even has an LED light and thus has sufficient light power. Finally, it comes with a 12 Volt adapter and ships very quickly – and that too with free shipping!

Pros

  • This is one of the coolest and most unique vintage lamps we’ve seen!
  • It offers great nostalgic and iconic value.
  • It comes with an LED light and a 12V adapter.

Cons

  • None!
Collector Gift Vintage Telephone Lamp - by Etsy
Collector Gift Vintage Telephone Lamp – by Etsy

How To Choose The Best Etsy Vintage Desk Lamp & Shades?

Style and aesthetic

Firstly, we considered the design and the style of the lamp. Vintage lamps come in various styles, from Victorian and industrial to mid-century modern and Art Deco. What’s more, knowing the style and artistic touches will help you better narrow down the manufacturer as well. In fact, doing this helped us identify potentially real antiques and even find specific pieces that we were looking for. Finally, you need to choose a style that complements your personal aesthetic as well as the existing decor.

Size, scale, and functionality

Secondly, you need to consider the scale and the size of the lamp, as it should be proportionate to the space that you plan for it to occupy. Additionally, you need to consider the functionality of the table lamp. Determine whether you need task lighting, ambient lighting, or a combination of both. 

Vintage condition

Lastly, you need to consider the condition of the lamp. While some amount of patina and wear adds to its vintage appeal, you need to ensure that the lamp is in good working condition. Finally, look for the maker’s marks or the date stamp somewhere. They reveal a lot and will help you check other details about specific lamps. 

If you’re looking for other vintage decors, check out the best Etsy vintage coffee tables.

Are vintage lamps safe to use?

It’s always a good rule of thumb to have your vintage lamp inspected by a professional so you can rest assured that it’s safe. And if you do find that the wiring isn’t good on a piece, it’s fairly inexpensive to have it rewired – and the professional who inspected it can probably do that for you.

How do you clean vintage lamps?

Scrub the lamp base with a solution of water and gentle detergent. Let the lamp dry completely once it’s clean. It’s never a bad idea to create a cleaning regimen so your antique lamp doesn’t slip through the cracks for months at a time. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can keep your old lamp as good as new.

How long should a desk lamp be?

A desk light should be between 26 and 34 inches tall. Another technique to see if the height of your lamp is just right is to sit next to it on your modern desk chair. The lampshade’s bottom should be at the same level as your eyes, not higher.

Some images in this article are copyrighted by Etsy.