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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quite Possibly My Best Thrifting Find Ever!

Several months ago, I spotted this pair of gold and white lamps at a thrift store.  I liked the shape of the lamps (notwithstanding the ugly bases), and the gold and white "drippy" appearance of the colors was beautiful and versatile.  I also was surprised to find a pair- it really is rare to find a pair at a thrift store.  They had hideous shades with fringey trim, probably from the 1950's or so.  Originally marked $49.99 for the pair, they had been marked down to $24.99.  I decided to go ahead and take them home.  At the time, had they been $49.99 I would have passed on them.


On the way home, I started thinking about them and wondered if maybe they could be Murano.  I decided to do a little research and see what I could find.  Apparently there are lots of Murano reproductions or replicas that don't have much value.  I really wasn't too worried if these had little monetary value, because I had bought them for $25, and I liked how they looked.

After reading a bit about Murano glass, I decided to check out the market on 1st Dibs.  I went through a page or so of Murano lamps before finding this:


This lamp is the same as the pair I bought at the thrift store.  It has a new shade and a lucite base on it, but otherwise, it was just like the lamps I found.  And it is $1,800 for the single lamp.  A pair is definitely worth more than the sum of its parts, so I won't even guess what my $24.99 lamps are worth!

I went back to my lamps to look for a Murano sticker, and I found it on one of them.  It was very faded, but that oval sticker was exactly what I needed to verify that they are the real deal.  For a moment I thought about selling them, but I decided that they would be perfect in my dining room. 

Keno Brothers and purists, cover your ears...  The lamps with their original bases and hardware were just too granny-looking for me to use.  They really needed a makeover.  I saved the original parts and bases in case I do ever decide to sell to a collector, but for my own use, I wanted them to be updated and look appropriate in my home.

First I carefully removed the wiring and neck and took the lamp apart.

Disassembled!

I decided that the 1st Dibs lamp look so much more modern with its lucite base, so I decided to use lucite on mine as well.

My sweet husband drilled a hole in the center of the base for the cord.  I couldn't have done that myself- it definitely took some strength to drill through the heavy lucite and make a straight hole.

I attached the lamp to the lucite base with screws and started re-wiring it.

Almost there!  Little man helps me with all my projects.

Finished! 

I added black linen shades and decided to use the original finials.

Lights on!

Don't the lucite bases make such a difference?!

It's nice to find a good deal every now and then!  Good thrifting finds are becoming rarer and rarer, unfortunately.  But one find like this keeps me going back for the 10 times when I find nothing.  Have you had a good find lately? 

29 comments:

lizziefitz said...

Stunning!!! I found a pair of mcKenzie -child's lamps dirt cheap at a thrift store years ago. I still smile every time I see them. Items with a story are so interesting. Kudos on the redo too , fabulous!

Sadie + Stella said...

These are so chic! Love the addition of the lucite. It looks perfect in this space!

www.sadieandstella.blogspot.com

Barbara@HausDesign said...

Wow - I'm very impressed! The lucite bases and black shades bring it up to 2011 but that shape and color is amazing - well done! I recently found a beautiful Murano glass vase at a flea market...it's beautiful. I compared on First Dibs and was very happy with my find!

bluehydrangea said...

Amazing find!! Your lamps look fabulous!! where did you get your lucite base?

Duchess Fare said...

what a fabulous find ~ switching out the bases is brilliant!

Betsy said...

Wow-that looks great! Keno brothers- ha!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Oh they look fabulous! I would bet the value is mostly in the glass lamp itself, not in the ugly bases -so you did the right thing. Gorgeous

LiveLikeYou said...

Super chic. Great ideas to switch out bottom!

Karen said...

Those looks awesome!!! Love a good find.

kayce hughes said...

I also want to know where you got the lucite base.
They look fabulous.

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

This is why we thrift!! You've got me beat. I was pretty proud of my McGuire end tables that I got at Salvation Army for $19 for the pair! You did really good! I did a makeover on a junkin' lamp on my blog this week. Go check it out...not murano, but it was a fun find for $3.98!

Aesthetic Oiseau said...

AMAZING!!!

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

What a stunning find! The lucite bases really elevate the look.

Mocha Mistake said...

Wonderful! The makeover is fabulous on these. Congrats on a great find. It's such a rush for me when I come across something pretty and get it at a great price too.

kka said...

i never find anything in charlotte... and after seeing you at value village the other day i'm pretty convinced it's because you beat me there first ;) nice find!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Wow, Wow!!!! They look amazing! What a great redo.

Pigtown-Design said...

Good on ya! I agree - that is why we thrift, you never know what you'll find. My best finds to date were 2 brand new Hermes scarves @ $2.00 each, and a Cartier tank watch (later stolen, major bummer).

I LOVE the new lucite base!

traci zeller designs said...

They are beautiful! I wonder if they redid the base on the First Dibs lamp ... The lucite is perfect and doesn't distract from the lamp itself.

Ashley said...

What an amazing find! LOVE the lucite base! Where did you find them? I had no luck finding one for a lamp redo of my own.

BPrufeGal said...

OMG!!! I LOVE those! Little man looks like a big helper.

Leah said...

Wow those lamps look really beautiful! And I totally relate to coming across and amazing thrifting find, and being even more amazed when you figure out how much it's actually worth. But the best part is deciding to hang on to something that valuable because you love it. Very gratifying!

xoxo,
Leah
www.couturearabesque.com

The Matters of Style Girls said...

Quite a few readers have asked where I found the lucite bases. I bought them online at www.nicetoys.com. They are great!

Vickie H. said...

WOW!!!! You are right: THE best find EVER!!! Thanks for sharing where you got the lucite bases...so much cheaper than the specialty manufacturer where I WAS planning to take my lamp...now I can order this for CHEAP and do it myself! Your lamp is DIVINE!!!

Anonymous said...

Lucky girl! The lucite bases are perfect.

BridgetG said...

Lucky girl! L-O-V-E the lucite bases.

Anonymous said...

Great story! I love magic lamps!

Sounds like good karma to me.

WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

Stunning! A great thrift store find and makeover!!

SHERRY HART said...

Incredibly gorgeous!!! And I am seriously impressed you did the whole makeover yourself!

SarahW said...

What a great find, and a great job of creating something beautiful! Love the lucite bases.

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