Following up on my story about the history of porcelain light fixtures — which were popular from the late 1920s into the 1950s — here is research about where to buy them. I scoured the internet for reproduction porcelain lights… and also have some suggestions on where to find them vintage. Above: The Selma from Rejuvenation.
Where to buy reproduction porcelain lighting fixtures
These days, I could find just a few places that sell reproduction porcelain sconces, over-the-mirror-lights and ceiling fixtures. Here are my finds:
#1 Rejuvenation — Update 2019: Rejuvenation’s selection of vintage-style porcelain bathroom sconces is a shadow of what it was in 2012, when this story was first written. I can find only a few examples left that fit my criteria for lighting that looks like it would have been made back in the day, with my focus especially on sconces.
Schoolhouse Electric: This company also has several nice porcelain lighting designs, the porcelain comes in white or black… and there are a variety of shade designs to choose from –>
A third place I found nice reproductions was Urban Archeology. They have two designs, and if I’m reading correctly, three colors — white, parchment and ivory –>
Fourth: Wanna go really cheap and cheerful? I found this porcelain socket base at Lighting Universe for $9.24. I bet you can get something very similar, if not identical, at a big box store. Put a pretty bare bulb in it, and you are rocking and rolling–>
That’s it for new. Other places I thought to look — but came up empty handed — were Barn Light Electric, Menard’s, Home Depot, Waterworks. Note, we were tipped at one point about a $30 porcelain sconce at Lowe’s, but we could never find it online.
Where to find vintage porcelain light fixtures
Now that I’ve covered what’s available new, now it’s time for where to find porcelain lighting vintage. You know I prefer vintage — because I prefer the hunt, and “authenticity”. In addition, there are many, many more vintage styles available — lots more shapes — especially in the ceiling fixtures, and also in other pastel colors, with flowers and other absolutely charming designs, too. It’s real eye candy, that’s for sure. Even so, sometimes you don’t have the time or the patience to hunt down vintage, then have it rewired — like when I needed a black porcelain bathroom light for my mom’s bathroom renovation. It’s good to have both choices.
If you have the time and desire, though, here are some of the sources I’d try for vintage lighting:
- Rejuvenation’s Restored Antique Lighting
- Chippy at World of Tile may still have some sconces (see my photos here, there may have been more), but then maybe I think she told me she got wiped out with one phone call after the New York Times story. Worth a shot.
Ebay — of course.
- Etsy — of course.
- Your local Re-Store — of course.
- Estate sales — as Forties Fan noted in a comment on the history story, “Believe it or not, the garage is a great places to find vintage porcelain sconces (and other fixtures) at estate sales. Many times, the house underwent a do-it-yourself’ bathroom renovation at some point. The Depression-era mentality of never throwing good things away still lingered, so the homeowner would carefully wrap up the old light fixtures and store them in the garage. The best part is that the fixtures are usually not priced, and those running the sale are usually willing to let them go for a song.” I agree — basements are a great place to hunt, too, for the remodel leftovers.
- Craigslist — maybe.
- Local salvage places