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From a time gone by: choosing Glass Ball Shades

Gone with the Wind Ball Shades were the darling of the Victorian era. These lamp shades are most remembered for their large round shape. The generous proportions of these shades produced a plentiful and dramatic light. Memorable in appearance these Gone with the Wind Ball Shades were often the primary focal point in a room. These shades were frequently adorned with large hand painted flowers, most often roses, on muted backgrounds. The majority were used on large Gone with the Wind Lamps, parlor lamps and banquet lamps. Most have a 4" bottom fitter. However sizes and neck shapes can vary:

Using Ball Shades

Gone with the Wind ball shades

  • Large ball shades are customarily used on tall banquet lamps and piano lamps.
  • Smaller ball shades, sometimes had a ruffled top or embossed design, fit shorter banquet lamps and some table lamps.

Measuring Ball Shades

Bottom Fitter
  • Base is open with straight-sides. Most common fitter-size is 4", diameter across base. This fitter dimension should be compared to shade holder size to assure fit.
  • Glass Ball Shades should be proportional to lamp. Height is measure by inserting a ruler inside shade. 
  • Height of glass lamp chimney must be taller than shade. Bulge of chimney should be thin enough to slide through interior of shade base.

Looking for a Replacement Shade

Matching an old lampshade can be quite difficult. The colors or flowers never seem quite right. Most times the best solution is to look for a lampshade with either a harmonizing background color or a similar decoration. Mix and match combinations are far more popular than they use to be. A lampshade which is mis-matched to the lamp base adds a sense of style. 

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