If you’ve ever talked to me about buying one of our antique lights, you’ve probably heard me say, “I am so excited for you, that’s one of my favorites!” It’s true, I say that a lot. And — I know — that’s a lot of favorites, but quite simply they are ALL my favorites for different reasons. Sometimes it’s because the fixture was super challenging to restore, or maybe because it reminds me of my parent’s Victorian home. Sometimes the fixture is really interesting and maybe a little bizarre. Often it’s just because they’re just pretty. Slipper shade fixtures fall into almost all of these categories, but mostly they’re my favorites because they are really stunning.
Slipper shade fixtures were made from around 1929 to the late 1930s, with the peak of their popularity between 1930 and 1935. There were a lot of different styles of lighting at the time — everything from modernistic Art Deco to Medieval-looking Romance Revival fixtures — and slipper shade fixtures really embraced most of the era’s styles.
Although they can really go anywhere, my favorite place for these is in dining rooms with lower ceilings. They really give you the opportunity to have an impressive and often ornate chandelier in rooms that are traditionally too small for such grand fixtures. That’s because they are properly scaled for bungalows and cottages that were built in that era. One of the best parts is that when you are sitting at the dining room table and look up you see lovely detailed shades instead of a light bulb (this is probably why they were originally called ‘shaded lights’).
Over the past couple of years I have been chipping away at organizing our collection of antique slipper shade fixtures. It has taken so long because there were so many manufacturers that produced these fixtures and they all had shades made to fit only their line of fixtures. Part of the reason I made the decision to organize this collection was to restore them and share them with all of you, but the other reason was to be able to help customers find replacement shades. Over the years I have received too many emails to count from customers whose beloved slipper shade fixture was missing a shade. I truly understand how heartbreaking it can be: I still have a tremendous number of fixtures that are missing shades that I would love to complete.
This is one example: super organic and a little weird – I so wish that I had two more shades (by the way, if you have any of these shades lying around, let me know. I would love to buy them from you).
As beautiful and wonderful as these fixtures are, I do have a warning for anyone who falls in love with them. You probably figured it out by now, but finding replacement shades can be very difficult. Luckily, I might be able to help. If you have a slipper shade fixture that was missing a shade when you got it, or which you accidentally knocked with a broom handle, please feel free to email me a photo of the shade and the fixture and I will be happy to see what I can do for you. My email address is email@example.com and I hope that I can help.
Thanks for reading, and I really hope that you enjoy looking at our new group of antique slipper shade fixtures that can be found on the ‘New Arrivals’ page of the Restored Antiques.
Take care, Amy Gearin