Monday, December 27, 2010


doll lamps that light up under the skirt

One of my favorite things I got for Christmas this year from the mister is a half doll lamp! I've loved these since I was in high school, but my collection only numbered one until the other day! He gave me a beautiful chalkware lady exactly like the one above on the left, except mine has a fuller skirt covered in pink lace! She also came in her original box, which is gorgeous in itself. It says "PRINCESS" in really big script at the top, and then at the bottom says "exquisite doll lamp." So cute! She gives off the coziest glow. 

doll lamps that light up under a shade over the head
I think my favorite doll lamps are the ones that light up under the skirt. This is the most traditional style. Dresses were usually handmade (the skirt on mine even has a little hand sewn snap closure on it) with lots and lots of lace and tulle. The base was a simple wire form. Doll lamps were popular boudoir items among ladies throughout the 1920s-1940s, though up until around the 70s there were still some made by crafty old ladies, but those were mostly your big plastic dolls with huge frothy hand-crocheted outfits, and they pretty much all lit up from a shade at the top. I love those too, for their over-the-top gaudiness and creepy look. My very first one was this type.
bed lamps
Many early doll lamps (20s and early 30s) hung on the bed frame, like the two pictured above.  Boudoir dolls were first made to adorn a lady's bed, so I think the lamps kind of expanded from those. Though half dolls really came to grace innumerable items in the bedroom and vanity, topping pincusions, powder boxes, brushes, perfume bottles, tea pots, etc. Doll bodies were first made of porcelain or bisque, then often chalkware, and then later eventually plastic.
I have more photos of doll lamps (including mine!) on my flickr: check 'em out!


  1. Half doll, half lamp....ALL AWESOME. I think I like the fourth one down the best. Great post!

  2. Love this post.

    I got one and I love her.

  3. We just posted the right side picture of your favorites, with the light under the lace skirt, on Ebay, if you're interested:

  4. Have inherited the doll, 3rd down on the right. Would like to find the value of her, and advice on how to clean her dress and shade. She has been sitting on a dresser for many years and has gotten dusty and dirty. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You Linda