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Featured Item: Classic Flame Dragonfly Table Lamp

Article: Learning Names of Lamp Parts


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Here we are celebrating another “Happy” New Year. Yippee! I hope this newsletter finds you happy, and in good health of mind and body and already engaged in a prosperous year 2022. 

I thought instead of devoting another newsletter to reminiscing about my past (lots of me-too responses, by the way), how about focusing on my customers? Something useful. I know - identifying lamp parts! A topic I realized after interacting so many years with customers is much needed. Scroll down to the Article section and be enlightened.

For the month of February, I am featuring a fantastic Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie - our Classic Flame Dragonfly Table Lamp. This dynamic art piece in red art glass is sure to capture attention in any interior setting. Be sure to check it out in the Featured Item section. 

Enjoy our winter newsletter.


A  Valentine’s Day heart with winter’s pussy willows.

Featured Item
Note: Each item presented is a one-of-a-kind work of art available for purchase. Should any item sell, there are no duplicates.  
Contact us about any similar items. 
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Flame Classic Dragonfly Table Lamp

Flame Classic Dragonfly Table Lamp

The Dragonfly Lamp is one of the most iconic of Tiffany’s lamps. It won him awards, fame and fortunes. Chief studio artist, Clara Driscoll designed the lamp in 1900, inspired by the organic Art Nouveau movement. When first exhibited, this lamp was strange, mysterious and an expensive home-decorative artifact. Today, the value of an original Tiffany Dragonfly Lamp has soared into the thousands of dollars.  

The Classic Dragonfly Table Lamp has been our most popular item ever since displaying our first one in 1976 in our shop window at Polk Street Tiffany in San Francisco.




Whether you call “it” that thingamabob on top, whatchamacallit that holds up the shade, or do-hickey I lost, invariably the conversation turns into a guessing game as to what “it” is that the distressed customer on the phone is describing to me. Worse yet, whenever I volunteer my helpful input, we inevitably find ourselves lost in a “Who’s on First, What’s on Second” routine. The call usually ends with my asking the customer to please email me a photo of the lamp part needed, and I will send it post-haste. Problem solved.

Sound familiar? Since lamps are fundamental fixtures in our interiors, and to avoid sounding like a crazy person, it is important that you know some basic terminology used when referring to their parts.


Surprisingly, you will recognize many of the terms as the same names that identify everyday objects. For example, the term “harp”; a musical instrument, right? Not always. Place the word “lamp” before it - “lamp-harp” - and you get a component that supports a shade on top of a lamp base.


Here is a basic glossary with photos I put together of lamp hardware that I think you will find informative and useful.

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Examples of various lamp hardware.

A Glossary of Lamp Hardware Terms

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Harp & Saddle

Two joining pieces that support the shade on the base.

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Bottom half of lamp wired with electrical cord, socket, and plug.

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Metal contraption attached to top of shade (usually cloth) enabling it to sit on a base.



An architectural term describing an ornamental knob ending a post. Ex: staircase banister, bed  post, roof spire, fastener topping  a lamp shade. 



A threaded nut that converts a large receptacle to the needed smaller diameter.



A short threaded tube that joins two threaded rods to make one longer rod.   

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Assembled coupling with two rods


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Standard or Medium

Base Socket

Common size used for household light bulbs.

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Candelabra Base Socket

Fits small bulbs for decorative lighting such as chandeliers or over bathroom mirrors.


“S” Cluster

Two opposing sockets whose arms form an “s” shape.



Three sockets chasing each other whose arms form a pinwheel.



Continuous circular grooves on hardware for rotating purposes.


Hex Nut

A six-sided threaded nut.

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Knurled Nut

A round threaded nut with a grooved edge.



Threaded metal stem-like fasteners, notched on top requiring either a flat head or Philips’s screwdriver.

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Prevents nuts & screws from loosening due to vibrations.


Lock Washers 

Create tension to hold the nut and bolt in place.


Nipples & Pipes

Various lengths of threaded metal tubes that house the electrical cord and support the lamp shade.

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A round, metal box that encases the connecting wires to a unit of electrical sockets.


Sleeve, Cardboard 

An electrical socket insulator that prevents fire hazard. Do Not Remove!


Sleeve, Metal

Various lengths of decorative tubing to cover the rod that carries the electrical cord.

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Metal Sleeves

Examples applied to lamp bases.


Canopy or Ceiling Plate

A 5” diameter, decorative metal plate that covers a hole in the ceiling where the electrical box from which a hanging lamp is suspended is located.

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Chain Pliers

A handy tool to open and close chain links.

Now, impress yourself and the clerk at the hardware store by asking for exactly what you want. You’ve earned an A+.

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