A particularly elegant small pair of late 19th century, Chinese "bodiless", lacquer ware, stem vase shaped antique accent lamps, or task lights. The slender lamps in imitation of patinated gilded bronze. The lamps shown with blue/grey, silk shade suggestions.
The vase shapes very delicately decorated with faded, gilded willows overhanging a village scene. In the foreground, painted in miniature, is an amusing subject of two boys at play with a ball. Although diminutive, the children are reproduced with a very fine sense of movement. The lamps on original black lacquered bases. Chinese bodiless lacquer ware is a light weight papier-mâché, invented in China over 2000 years ago.
Papier-Mâché is a French word, which literally means mashed paper. It was the Chinese who invented Papier-Mâché during the Chinese Han dynasty, over 2000 years ago. Ts'ai Lun, a Chinese scholar, has been acknowledged as the inventor of paper.
Papier-Mâché was an invention extending from the discovery of paper, when Ts'ai Lun made a mush by blending linen and paper, he discovered that after drying, the resultant sheet had become as hard as wood, this is recorded as the first acknowledged discovery of papier-mâché.
From its discovery in China, the technique of producing papier-mâché reached Japan and Persia where important examples can be seen today in their national museums. In time decorated items made from papier-mâché began to be imported from Imperial China, along with silks and porcelains.
Production finally reached Europe in the early 17th century, when France began production, to be followed by England in the 1670’s. By the end of the 18th century, papier-mâché had become so popular that vast amounts of practical domestic wares were produced. But the real high point was the 19th century’s Victorian era. New uses were constantly made, including, bowls and tea trays, boxes, sculpture, props for the stage and even jewelry!
By about 1860 the production of papier-mâché had reached a peak of popularity, even with examples still being imported from China. With the rapid development of new materials, papier-mâché began to loose its popular demand, although the last manufacturer did not close until 1920.
Accent lamps are designed to produce a mood, a look or feel in a room, rather than providing a major source of light in a space. In general, an accent lamp is a relatively small lamp, with usually no more than a maximum height of about 20" / 50cm including the lamp shade. Accent lamps also serve as decorative accents within a room.
The name “accent lamp” is derived from the word “accentuate”, meaning to emphasize something, or to make something more noticeable. Accent lamps, by example, can be used on a writing desk, a mantle piece, or side table.
Guangzhou Emperor - Circa 1900
Overall height (including shades) 17.5"/45cm approx
Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications
The lamp shades shown are for photography purposes only.