Sunday, March 20, 2011

A State of Disrepair - Antique Lampshade

My friend Pam brought me this extrordinary lampshade.  The frame is in good condition, the fabric--not so good.  I wonder what color was it originally?  More than dirty, the fabric is as crunchy as dried leaves. 

First things, first.  I wanted to photograph it, because there is nothing here to save, except the frame.   What a shame, eh? 

I'd like to point out--in the background, I closed the pocket door.  The pocket door and woodwork are faux bois finished.  The woodwork is pine, faux finished to look like quarter sawn oak and mahogany--and was created by an artist in 1893 when faux bois was very fashionable.

 As I lay the lampshade on the carpet, the long fringe collapses.  I adjusted my angle to capture the frame's scallops, top and bottom. 
  I don't know its age.  Do you have any clues about its age?
Turning it on its top, check out the crunchy torn fabric
 I'll keep you posted with photographs (stages) of recovering this fine old shade. 

Since photographing the lampshade I've moved forward removing all the fabric and fringes, and sanded the wire frame--getting it ready for spray paint. 

I have a small pile of items ready for spray paint and now I am waiting for a sunny/windless day to spray this lampshade frame, some pairs of antique window swing arm curtain brackets, a bridge lamp I'm restoring/rewiring, and this nice floor lamp base. 

The bridge lamp and floor lamp base are going to my friend Pam for her new/old 1910 home.  She's moving to her new home the second week of April. 
I'm teaching Pam how to cover a lampshade.  It is a finger picking, knuckle crunching activity.  One afternoon of stretching fabric and hand sewing sections is tough on the hands. 


  1. My, oh, my! That lampshade really needs some TLC! Is it made of silk? It's so strange what age can do to the color and texture of some antique items. But having seen what miracles you have done with other lampshades, your friend Pam will receive a beautiful, stunning lamp for her new home! :-)


  2. It has great "bones" will make something really MARVELOUS out of it ...I'm certain.
    I believe it was probably pretty much the same color it is now..only less rusty looking.
    SEND MORE PICTURES !!! Even in the progress stage..I have never covered a lampshade, but would love to know how.


  3. Hello Linda,
    At first glance and with your comment of it being dry and crunchy, I thought that your lamp shade was made of Parchment or Vellum, not the paper, the animal skin.
    Anyway, you are better off with using fabric to recover this amazing find. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  4. Hello Pam,

    How's your floor scraping coming along? I was thinking about you this morning.
    Mrs. D

  5. Hi Rose,

    Thanks for kind words and comments about the lampshade. I'll be photographing and posting the next steps soon.

    We're just getting over a terrible bout of the flu, that turned into an upper respiratory month-long coughing spell. Feeling much better this week.

    I'm enjoying reading your blog.

    Mrs. D

  6. Hi Anyes,

    Wow--I really enjoyed the Japanese antique images you posted on your blog! They are very beautiful. Do you collect Japanese art? Would like to know more. Great post.

    By the way, I would love to see you do a post on your precious dog. What a sweet face.

    Mrs. D.

  7. Love your lamp shade. I would say judging by the fringe that it is 1920's. A lot of fabric shops carry this fringe and is used for flapper dresses. My sister has covered a lot of shades and she says its easy. I say,then,you do it. Stop by any time. Richard at My Old Historic House

  8. I just discovered your blog, and I'm so excited to come back often and read it and read past posts. It really interests me!!

  9. Mrs D
    Thank you for the invitation to visit your blog... and thank you so much for following ours!
    I love you before and afters and the old photos, amazing. What is it like to live in a home that you can decorate? I can't imagine!
    Our best
    Mark and Phillip

  10. I would love to see your finisted product - the vellum shade - I have one I need to fix!