Why Are Restored Antique Lamps Expensive?
On occasion, I’m asked why antique lamps are expensive. The short answer is materials. The long answer is sourcing, beads, shipping costs, scarcity of textiles and lamps, and time.
Antique textiles are not cheap. When you consider what it takes to preserve 100-year-old textiles, it’s not surprising. In some cases, a set of four antique silk appliques can cost hundreds of dollars—and I’ve seen some in the thousands. Authentic metal lace isn’t made anymore so what’s out there is all that will ever be made—scarcity drives up cost.
Lamp bases are not easy to find. Many century-old lamps are warped, cracked or rusted beyond repair. They all need to be rewired for safety and painted to continue preservation. But they are so very worth the effort! The style and quality of workmanship in antique lamps far exceeds that of today.
Let’s not forget beads. Some of my lamps have over 6,000 hand-strung beads on the shade. Most of them hover around 2,000 but those little gems add up to some whopping costs. Personally, I’m not a fan of plastic or acrylic beads. I like the weight, the sparkle and the luminescence of glass, crystal and semi-precious stone beads, so I’m willing to pay for that kind of beauty.
Time is another crucial element to deciphering costs associated with restored antique lamps. Works of art take precious time and endless patience to create. But you can see the benefit of that time spent in the exquisite detail of each lamp, which is designed to last a lifetime.
So are restored antique lamps worth the cost? You bet they are!! Every restored lamp is one-of-kind, never to be replicated. Perhaps that is the upside to scarcity of materials—you know you’re looking at something that simply cannot be replicated, ever.
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