It Started With a Lamp

  • December 21, 2015

It all started with a slag glass ceiling lamp–not the slag glass lamps made by Tiffany and Steuben. This was the lamp you’d expect to find hanging from the textured spackle ceiling in grandma’s dining room. I know what you’re thinking–ugly. I’ll give you that, but to each his own. I’ve been in this lifestyle long enough to know that collectors come in ALL shapes and sizes.

Slag Glass Ceiling Lamp

Slag Glass Ceiling Lamp

On that fateful summer day, I asked my mom to join me on a yard sale adventure to find cheap clothes for my one-year-old. We had a late start that morning, something I have since learned is never acceptable. As we were strolled down the busy road in a massive housing development, we came upon a garage. And there–in all its swirling beige glory–was the slag glass ceiling lamp with the tulip panels.

Before you can understand the beauty I beheld in this dusty vintage lamp, you need to understand my history with a lamp of similar style….

Once upon a time, my parents participated in a community yard sale. When this community yard sale concluded, one of the other families was left with a slag glass ceiling lamp that never sold. I have no idea how my dad ended up with this lamp, but he eventually got around to listing it on eBay.

The sucker sold for $80! $80 for an ugly slag glass ceiling lamp.

When I glimpsed this lamp amongst the cluttered garage, I saw dollar signs. They wanted $10. Mind you, this was before I learned to haggle. I have since learned that haggling is an art form, but more on that later. I paid $10 for this lamp– throwing any caution voiced by my mother to the wind.

From the time my dad sold his lamp on eBay to the time I bought my lamp at this garage sale, it had been a couple years. That scarce individual that would fork over $80 for an ugly vintage lamp had come and gone. The market had shifted and I ended up profiting $30 on this lamp, which was then refunded after it broke in transit and I received a couple sad photos of that once glorious lamp in pieces.

That was my moment. Everyone has their moment when their passion is realized. Picking is a passion of mine–right there alongside bottle digging and metal detecting. I have learned a lot over the past few years and I admit that I have a lot more to learn. There are people I look up to in the hobby of thrifting and there are people I shake my head at–mostly I shake my head at those idiots researching everything they come across on their phone. But hey, I was there once. I still sometimes resort to my trusty smartphone for answers.

This being my very first post under my new blogging category: On the Shelf–I really wanted to take readers to the moment when my pursuits began. My intent for this new category–besides passing the winter months while my metal detector hibernates–is to demonstrate my passion for thrifting.