This past weekend I decided that perhaps the kittens are old enough and therefore have calmed down enough that it might finally be safe to put my Gram's antique lamp out in the living room again.
This is the lamp that sat on the dresser in Gram's bedroom for as far back as I can remember. When I was a child and spent the night, I got to share Gram's big bed with her, and Gram would turn the lamp on so that I wouldn't be afraid of the dark. I've always thought it's one of the most beautiful lamps I've ever seen.
After Gram died, it was one of the few things I hoped to be given from her house, because it reminded me so much of her and the time I spent with her. When my Dad gave it to me, he told me the story behind it-- a history I'd never heard before.
This was once an oil lamp, not an electric lamp. When my great-uncle Bill (Gram's brother-in-law) was younger, he collected many beautiful old oil lamps from antique stores. He took them back to Illinois with him, and one by one, he put in the wiring, sockets and other fixtures needed to make them electric lamps. This one he brought back to Iowa and gave to Gram.
He did such a beautiful job with this lamp. It actually has two bulbs in it-- one on top, under the glass shade-- but also one low-wattage bulb down in the "belly" of the lamp which used to hold oil. This bulb makes the glass just glow with a nice warm light and shows off the lovely flower design, which I believe is hand-painted.
This lamp is a treasure to me, not because its an antique, although that makes it all the more special; but because whenever I look at it, it brings to mind two loving people who were so important in shaping my childhood.
8 hours ago