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Egg-shaped lamps: The lighting you didn't know you needed

My quest for ’70s globular vintage lamps

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I first glimpsed a table lamp in the shape of an egg on Furnish Green’s website, but it was a little outside of my price range. By the time I realized that its gently curving frosted-glass shade was, in fact, the only luminaire that would complete me, it had been sold. I was bereft.

My highly-suggestible shopping persona fixated on incorporating the humble egg—arguably the Platonic ideal of a life form—into my home decor. That’s when I noticed the ovoid shape cropping up in minimalist jewelry aimed at the fashion set.

Thankfully, the internet is a literal treasure trove (or junk yard, depending on your perspective). Googling “egg lamp” led me to the world of Newark, New Jersey-based Laurel Lamp Company, a popular 1970s manufacturer of midcentury modern lighting. Although information on the company was scarce, its glass lamps, available in a range of organic, globular shapes, were prevalent on sites like 1st Dibs—but for a hefty price tag.

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While my egg lamp went for around $300 on Furnish Green, they were selling for between $750 and $2,350 each on the luxury antique marketplace. Damn.

But during my quest, I had a light-bulb moment. A table lamp with a libidinous upside-down-acorn-shaped shade perched on a brass tulip base—also by Laurel—beckoned to me. There was something so familiar about its sensuous silhouette and its almost obscene bulge at what might be called the lighting implement’s hips.

Then I realized where I had seen it. It was, in fact, a beacon of sorts, lighting my childhood from our house on St. Andrews Drive across the street from one by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, to the small condo we hunkered down in for a few years after we were evicted. In my memory, a stray ball thrown by one of my younger siblings had destroyed the glass mushroom topper. Too bad.

I excitedly emailed the link to my dad: “Wasn't this the lamp we used to have? It broke, right? It was such a nice lamp!”

He wrote back immediately: “That one is sitting on my desk. Finish is faded so it's more like silver now.”

I urged him to check the tags. Sure enough, it was labeled “Laurel Lamp Mfg. Co., Inc.”

“So how much?” he asked.

The same lamp but with a white base was going for $1,580. My dad was impressed. He said he’d always wanted to throw it out. But now he was giving it to me.

As for the egg lamp, I found one on eBay from a seller in Arkansas for $225. Although I inquired about the provenance of the lamp I couldn’t get a straight answer. I thought it was worth the risk, so I bought it.

You can buy a lamp that combines the egg shade with a tulip base on Etsy for $495, or a cute plastic one for $29.11. Or if a color-changing mood light is more your thing, here’s one for $75.49.