Figural-, hurricane-, Aladdin-, ball- and mission-style glass shades are among the various styles of antique lampshades. In the early 1800s, lamps typically burned kerosene and glass lampshades were simple, cylindrically shaped and a bit rounded at the base to maintain the needed level of oxygen, while protecting the flame from drafts, which is the source of the "hurricane" lamp. Late 19th-century shades were often of the figural style, in the shape of shells and flowers, or intricate mosaics.Continue Reading
Tiffany designs, among the first mosaic shades, include the nautilus lamp in the shape of a seashell and the wisteria lamp with a shade in the shape of hanging wisteria blossoms. Another antique lampshade style involved reverse painting, which diffuses light and often included unique designs or landscapes on the inside of the shade. Handel is another name for this style, in reference to an early artist of the reverse-painted shade. Also dating to the late 19th and early 20th century are shades of the slag-glass style. Slag-glass is a streaked, opaque glass formed by incorporating waste matter left during the smelting of iron.
Hand-painted flower designs and intricate embossing or crimped tops are common of the ball-style shade. Mission-style shades, in contrast, are of a simpler, linear design that was popular from the late 1890s to 1915. Aladdin-style shades, which reflect the Aladdin brand name, are short shades, wider at the bottom and often funneling up to a bottle neck.Learn more about Lighting