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Chinese Lamps & Lights

Beautiful Chinese porcelain jars were often converted to lamps rather than used to contain foods and spices. These jars were created during the 19th century in China for export due to a high demand for porcelain jars in Western regions like Europe. Chinese lamps were also created from lacquered wooden statues and other past exported goods, and often sit in homes as hidden treasures.

As early as 259 B.C., China began making candles out of whale fat. During this time, candlestick holders were created as well. These were made out of materials like metal, porcelain, and jade.

Candlestick holders in China were treated very sculpturally and often took on the form of birds, famous historical figures, or flowers. Other simpler candlestick holders were treated more minimally and were created from porcelain or wood, but decorated with natural motifs or sometimes left plain in order to showcase the material used.


Quick Facts

  • Chinese lamps were converted from jars without knowledge of their high value. Many of these lamps were converted from ancient imperial porcelains
  • In ancient China, candlestick holders were placed as lights within tombs so that the dead might see in the dark during the afterlife
  • Some Chinese lamps were once porcelain temple urns. These jar lamps usually consist of the entire jar and domed lid adhered to a wooden stand. The jar is then pierced on top and bottom so that wiring and metalwork for the lamp may be added

Recommended Items at Auction

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A Chinese carved wood 'dragon' lantern, 20th century
Mar 03, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Chinese carved wood 'dragon' lantern, 20th century
by Gibson's
Est: AUD700- AUD900
AUD9008 Bids
Early 19th Century Chinese Porcelain Gods Fu and Lu Figurines
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Early 19th Century Chinese Porcelain Gods Fu and Lu Figurines
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $400
$706 Bids
Chinese Decorative Arts
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Chinese Decorative Arts
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$255 Bids
A Pair of Rose Mandarin Mounted Vase Lamps
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
A Pair of Rose Mandarin Mounted Vase Lamps
by Alex Cooper
Est: $700- $1,000
$3752 Bids
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BLUE AND WHITE FLOWER PATTERN PORCELAIN CANDLESTICK
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
BLUE AND WHITE FLOWER PATTERN PORCELAIN CANDLESTICK
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $240- $360
$1202 Bids
Chinese Blue and White Patterned Porcelain Lamp
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Chinese Blue and White Patterned Porcelain Lamp
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN BIRD VASE LAMP
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN BIRD VASE LAMP
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
A Pair of Chinese Export Rose Mandarin Candelabra Vases
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
A Pair of Chinese Export Rose Mandarin Candelabra Vases
by Alex Cooper
Est: $700- $800
$3501 Bid
CHINESE VASE AS LAMP
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
CHINESE VASE AS LAMP
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
(2) Chinese cloisonne vase lamps
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
(2) Chinese cloisonne vase lamps
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
Chinese Ming Glazed Lion Candlestick Pair
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Chinese Ming Glazed Lion Candlestick Pair
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £100- £140
£51 Bid
LARGE CHINESE QING VASE STEMMED TABLE LAMP
Mar 07, 10:00 AM GMT
LARGE CHINESE QING VASE STEMMED TABLE LAMP
by Sheppards
Est: €300- €500
€1801 Bid
Near Pair of Chinese Export Mounted Vase Lamps
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
Near Pair of Chinese Export Mounted Vase Lamps
by Alex Cooper
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
Chinese Pewter Tea Caddy Lamp
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Chinese Pewter Tea Caddy Lamp
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $100- $200
$200 Bids
Early 20th Century Champleve Brass Lamp
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Early 20th Century Champleve Brass Lamp
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids
Chinese porcelain Elephant Candlesticks
Mar 17, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese porcelain Elephant Candlesticks
by Main Auction Galleries
Est: $60- $120
$300 Bids
Chinese Blue & White Lamp
Mar 05, 12:00 PM EST
Chinese Blue & White Lamp
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $50- $100
$300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Lamps & Lights


Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Premier Auction Galleries

Premier Auction Galleries

Abell Auction

Abell Auction

Auktionshaus Rotherbaum OHG

Auktionshaus Rotherbaum OHG