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Reproduction of 1905 WB Brown oak lamp

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Project by DaleMaley posted 565 days ago 2189 views 13 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In the summer of 2012, my mother moved from the old farm house into town. We cleaned out 5 generations worth of items from the house, which was built around 1905. In the attic, we found this neat old oak lamp with very decorative glass. My sister wanted a copy of this old lamp made.

An internet search showed this lamp to probably being made by the WB Brown company of Indiana, around 1905. I suspect it was a house warming gift to my great-great-grandfather. Further internet research showed the glass was opalescent glass that probably came from the Kokomo glass company. My wife and I toured Kokomo glass last Fall. The people there recognized the glass type immediately when I showed them a photo of the original lamp. I bought enough glass to make several lamps.

A friend of mine gave me some white oak free of charge. It also took quite a bit of internet research to find a supplier for the type of duplex bulb brass fixture needed for the reproduction lamp.

This turned out to be the most difficult item I have ever made, and I have made a couple hundred of woodworking items. The difficulty was mainly due to all the angles involved in making the shade. I also had trouble learning to cut glass for the first time.

One of the photos above show the old lamp on the left, and the new lamp on the right.

If you are interested in reading about all my trials and tribulations of making this lamp, you can read about it on my web site.

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/





13 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4089 posts in 1457 days


#1 posted 565 days ago

Dale that is quite a project, not at all a simple one
I went to your blog and saw all the details. Well done.
It is an interesting piece it has that nice A&C feel that
it was about quality rather than quantity. Have you considered
fuming instead of stain?
Thanks for sharing
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

105 posts in 837 days


#2 posted 565 days ago

I have read about fuming white oak, but never done it. On this project, I wanted to match the color and finish of the 1905 lamp as close as possible. I experimented with different stain colors, and the teak was a very good match. I will have to try fuming someday.

I also struggled with whether to try to darken the brass, or leave it shiny. An internet search said Palomolive liquid soap will darken brass. I tried it and it does work. I decided to not stain the brass, because I was very curious how the lamp looked 100 years ago when it was brand new.

thanks

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13305 posts in 939 days


#3 posted 564 days ago

Very nice work. Impressive and unique.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View JNP's profile

JNP

105 posts in 1178 days


#4 posted 564 days ago

Outstanding work! Love the lamp and the back-story and research that went into it’s creation.

-- Jeff

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4089 posts in 1457 days


#5 posted 564 days ago

Dale this may interest you, a Charles Limbert
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/201106A13.html

APPRAISER: So I’m going to give you a conservative auction estimate, so if it was listed in an auction today, we would think that you would see it somewhere between a $2,500 and a $3,500 estimate.
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4355 posts in 893 days


#6 posted 564 days ago

Really outstanding work and great reproduction. It shows a lot of attention to each and every detail. Thanks for sharing and enjoyed your story behind the project.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112000 posts in 2178 days


#7 posted 564 days ago

A real challenging project .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View choppertoo's profile

choppertoo

295 posts in 1914 days


#8 posted 564 days ago

That’s a great reproduction. I also appreciated reading the build blog on your website.
Maybe 100 years from your one of your ancestors will build a third lamp to add to the collection. : )

-- The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.. Michelangelo

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3040 posts in 774 days


#9 posted 564 days ago

That is an out of this world piece! Superb!

www.bandsawparts.com

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

105 posts in 837 days


#10 posted 564 days ago

Dale this may interest you, a Charles Limbert
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/201106A13.html

APPRAISER: So I’m going to give you a conservative auction estimate, so if it was listed in an auction today, we would think that you would see it somewhere between a $2,500 and a $3,500 estimate.
Jamie
==============
Wow, $2500 to $3500 for a somewhat similar lamp. My research says that WB Brown often did not mark the name on the lamp. There are a few lamps with the WB Brown stamp, but many had no marks. My original lamp has no name on it, but is almost identical to another lamp with the WB brown label on it.

After finishing this project, I thought to myself that I would not part with my reproduction lamp for less than $1,000…..because of all the blood and sweat it took to make it. My reproduction lamp is going to my sister’s house….where she has many rooms of family heirlooms and antiques…...many from the Arts & Crafts time period. Thanks for the link to that web site!
Dale

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

105 posts in 837 days


#11 posted 564 days ago

That’s a great reproduction. I also appreciated reading the build blog on your website.
Maybe 100 years from your one of your ancestors will build a third lamp to add to the collection. : )
==============================================================

That is an interesting thought. My great-great grandson would be the one to make the lamp 100 years from now!

Thanks

Dale

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

507 posts in 249 days


#12 posted 247 days ago

Oh my God!!! This is stunning, absolutely stunning!

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

105 posts in 837 days


#13 posted 247 days ago

Oh my God!!! This is stunning, absolutely stunning!

—That’s not how it looked on my computer!
===================================

Glad you liked my lamp. It is very unique looking. Someday I hope to build another reproduction, I have just been too busy the last year or so remodeling my relatives houses.

thanks

Dale

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

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