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What were some characteristics of Victorian lampshades?

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Quick Answer

Victorian lampshades are recognizable by their ornamental fringe, specialty trims, curved and angular shapes and floral motifs. These decadent lampshades were often made of silk and other fine materials.

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Full Answer

The Victorian era coincided with Edison's improved design for the incandescent light bulb; the era began with gas lighting, and it ended with electrical illumination. With the advent of electric lighting in 1879, lampshades began to become more commonplace. The most famous Victorian lampshades are the most extravagant ones. They came shaped like daffodils, were strung with sparkling beads and hand-dyed fringe and were crafted of the finest silk and velvet materials.

Less decadent lamps were often outfitted with umbrella shades, which were conical in shape and made of pleated fabric. Students and professors often outfitted their lodgings and schoolrooms with small table lamps with umbrella shades. The advent of electric light enabled people to work in their rooms before retiring for the night.

Umbrella shades were also used to outfit more luxurious locations. The banquet lamp was a popular choice for the Victorian dining table. They were taller than most table lamps and were thought of as an elegant dinner accessory. Many people used them as centerpieces for their dining tables.

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