There are so many different lamp shades that it is hard to know how to go about looking for new or replacement glass lamp shades.  When looking for a new shade you will be asked about the size of the fitter, which is the diameter of the part of the shade that fits onto the lamp base. These vary with bases and styles. Some styles come in a range of fitters; other styles are typically only made with one size. It is important to understand that you have to measure the widest part of the base or seat, and that the correct shade for that size of fitter will actually measure a smaller number. Confusing isn’t it! Just remember that if your base is a 2 ¾” the actual size of the shade fitter is likely to be 2 1/2” although it will be called a 2 ¾” fitter and you’ll be right.

With all the different combinations and permutations here is a list of styles to help you out.

Antique Glass Lamp Shades

These include Torchiere and Tiffany brands.

Torchiere made lamps around the 1940s and 1950s and were mostly glass floor lamps shades. Most common are the floor lamps which usually had a large Mogul light fitting. The basic types of Torchiere glass lamp shades are dish, neck, reflector waffle and Stiffel. The dish style of shade is self explanatory. The reflector waffle is a glass cone designed to reflect light with a fabric shade. The neck style is funnel shaped to fit into a cup holder. There are antique reproductions available of this type of shade (including embossing on the glass) as well as modern design to fit the lamp base.

courtesy Don'tBblu

Blur Tiffany Glass Lamp Shade courtesy Don'tBblu

Probably the best known vintage glass lamp shades are those made by Tiffany. Original Tiffany glass lamps are much sort after and very expensive today. Tiffany produced stained glass lamp shades on heavy metal bases. His designs were innovative at the time and very beautiful, generally of flowers and nature, but some geometric designs and used colorful glass mosaics. The way the light played through the shade made them very popular.

Other Glass Lamp Shades

Stained glass lamp shades – of which Tiffany is the most famous, are still popular and a hand person can even make their own using stained glass patterns. Stained glass lamp shades are essentially small pieces of colored glass held together with metal – often copper, but lead is also used. These kind of shades make quite a statement in a room, especially when illuminated are the colors comes through, Stained glass shades can vary from complex to simple designs and come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes

Cased Glass lamp Shades – these are an interesting type of glass shade. Two layers of different colored glass are fused together (at very high temperatures!) The resultant glass is them blown into a mold. Typical colors are white on the inside face of the shade and blue, green or amber on the outside face. The shape is usually a cone, but can be embossed by using a mold to get the embossed effect onto the shade.  This is the typical shade used for Victorian glass lamp shades

Chandelier lamps – well a chandelier isn’t  really a shade, but it is made of glass; beautiful crystal drops which create a visual treat with the light flowing through them Chandelier replacement parts can be found in specialist stores. It is important to match the type, size and color of the crystal to the existing chandelier crystal for the best result.

Ball or globe lamp shades sometimes called Gone with the Wind style. These glass shades also fall under gas light shades. In general they have a4” base diameter and come in a range of colors and ball diameters. You can find hand painted glass lamp shades in this style and other styles.

Chimney shades –this is the traditional kerosene /oil  lamp shade –we all know the style, narrow at the base opens up like a pot belly then comes in again at the top. The shape is to help protect the light from wind effects. It is especially important to get the base diameter correctly measured on this style of shade to ensure your shade will fit properly. The glass oil lamp shades are sold by fitter size and height, and come in a variety of colors and effects, even fluted tops. Frosted glass lamp shades come in chimney style.

Neckless styles – these are glass lamp shade with no funnel or neck to attach to a base –often seen for pendant lights or the dish shade for Torchiere lamps

Bridge arm glass shades- floor lamp shades where the shade has a 2.25” fitter held in place by a cup and screws. Shades are available in many colors, shapes and with hand painted designs

Lily Shades – these are shades shaped like a lily flower and painted to look like one. They come in different sizes and fitters and can be hand painted.

Miscellaneous other types of shades are bankers, student, angled shades, pan lights, sconce glass shades, fixture glass, art glass lamp shades. The most bizarre thing is a wine glass lamp shade (made from paper designed to sit over a wine glass that has a tea light candle in it – to create that intimate moment!)

Whatever kind of glass lamp shades you have, you will be able to find a replacement and in many cases get one which will match your existing or remaining shades perfectly. Just be sure that you know what style you are looking for and the correct size for your base and then it’s all down to color, so choose a retailer who can offer color matching.

Category: Glass Fittings, Lighting
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