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Lusting after MCM Lamps

Posted by vampiressrn ( on
Sun, Jun 27, 10 at 16:46

I am totally lusting after these Mid-Century Modern Lamps. I have been emailing the guy who has them in the antique mall where I saw them, but they are sooooo expensive ($2,650). It is cool that there are 2 table lamps and one floor lamp. They are large, and the owner has restored them and even provided new lampshades...all restoration very well done. He indicates that he has invested $2000 in them, so doubt if he will drop down much. What do you MCM enthusiasts think of the price?

OK...that chair is to die for too, but I have no room for it (thank goodness)...LOL

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lusting after MCM Lamps

This is a tough one.

This particular type of "atomic" "space age", "kitsch" or "googie" (which is more an architectural term), design is very taste specific, and not many sets like this have probably survived. This style would not have transitioned as easily into the decor as tastes changed. The shades in particular would be highly susceptible to damage or deterioration, particularly if they were stored away.

The only thing that I could say is just from trying to get custom made drum shades in a large size (and having them all shipped separately since they don't nest together)--is that there could be more than $1000 in those shades.

Are these lamps worth it? These lamps are worth what someone will pay for them. I have only ever seen one similar floor lamp--its also part planter, part ashtray :)
and it has been in the huge antique lighting store since I first went there close to twenty years ago. (It also has a pretty hefty price tag on it).

The individual lamps like this on ebay are maybe $100 all original, but the price goes up exponentially for Sets of things like this.

If you love them, they may be worth $2000+. If you hate them you wouldnt take them for free. This type of thing does not have a base comparable value like a federal chest. imo anyway.

RE: Lusting after MCM Lamps

I think this kind of purchase requires a couple of questions to self:

Am I being sucked in, and if so, is it worth it to me? For this question, it helps to know how long they have been on the market - if no one else has bitten in a while, they may be priced too high. This is also why you search around for similar items recently sold. But sometimes I don't mind overpaying if something poetically right for me crosses my path at just the right moment. I consider it the price I pay for the store to source it for me.

If I want to resell them later and can't get what I paid, (or if they break) is that OK? In other words, do you have this amount of money to spend and possibly not recover? As Palimpsest says, these lamps are only ever worth what you can find someone to pay, and since you're buying from a store, you're paying overhead that you won't recover. And finding the right buyer can cost time and commission.

And possibly the most important one... can I survive if I go back tomorrow and someone else has snapped them up?

Decor-wise, I will say that this stuff doesn't always look good with other styles of furniture, so if you aren't sure you might see if you can take one home on trial (obviously you'd have to pay for it to do this) to evaluate it in your space.


RE: Lusting after MCM Lamps

Thanks folks I really appreciate your feedback.

My side of the fence...I have my Mother & Father's first bedroom set from the early 50's, so they will be a great era match and I would decorate around the colors appropriately. I can budget as needed, plus they do lay-away. I won't die if they are sold out from under me, plus I am willing to watch them sit in the shop to see how long it takes for them to be snatcedh up with that price tag. I figure if they are meant to be mine, it will happen.

The vendor's side of the fence...seems to be expecting a high price, paying overhead for display in the antique mall, and I assume they might be willing to negotiate if they sit there too long and they need money.

I am vacillating between these lamps and chairs for my dining will see which one ends up happening..or if both do...that would be a miracle. LOL

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