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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Antique Judaica Miniature Candles
Oct 26, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique Judaica Miniature Candles
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $0
$115 Bids
Antique Handmade Tinware Candle Lantern
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique Handmade Tinware Candle Lantern
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$264 Bids
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Large Chinese Pewter Lamp
Oct 23, 11:00 AM PDT
Large Chinese Pewter Lamp
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $30- $40
$101 Bid
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A Chinese Famille Rose porcelain covered jar now as a lamp
Oct 24, 10:00 AM PDT
A Chinese Famille Rose porcelain covered jar now as a lamp
by Andrew Jones Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
Chinese Porcelain Lamp & Vase
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Chinese Porcelain Lamp & Vase
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $600
$701 Bid
Vintage hand painted porcelain lamp of young lady playing violin 15.5” ht
Oct 20, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage hand painted porcelain lamp of young lady playing violin 15.5” ht
by OG Collections
Est: $25- $100
$51 Bid
SMALL CHINESE PORCELAIN VASE AS LAMP, COURT SCENE
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
SMALL CHINESE PORCELAIN VASE AS LAMP, COURT SCENE
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Pair of Ormolu-Mounted Chinese Wucai Porcelain Jars Mounted as Lamps
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Pair of Ormolu-Mounted Chinese Wucai Porcelain Jars Mounted as Lamps
by Stair
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$6001 Bid
IRON FLOOR LAMP CHINESE MOTHER OF PEARL INLAID
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
IRON FLOOR LAMP CHINESE MOTHER OF PEARL INLAID
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$3000 Bids
19th C. Chinese Famille Rose Ge Glaze Crackle Lamp
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
19th C. Chinese Famille Rose Ge Glaze Crackle Lamp
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
A pair of Chinese bronze lamps
Oct 27, 10:30 AM BST
A pair of Chinese bronze lamps
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
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Pr Lg Chinese Cinnabar Vases mounted as Lamps
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Pr Lg Chinese Cinnabar Vases mounted as Lamps
by Neely Auction
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Four Chinese Wig Stand Vases Converted to Lamps
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Four Chinese Wig Stand Vases Converted to Lamps
by Brunk Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Two Asian Ceramic Vases Mounted as Lamps
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Two Asian Ceramic Vases Mounted as Lamps
by Brunk Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
A Chinese vase painted with an air dragon
Oct 27, 10:30 AM BST
A Chinese vase painted with an air dragon
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £200- £300
£1500 Bids
GEISHA
Oct 23, 6:30 PM CEST
GEISHA
by Galleria Sarno
Est: €600- €800
€4000 Bids
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Pair Chinese Hand Painted Porcelain Lamp
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Pair Chinese Hand Painted Porcelain Lamp
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$100 Bids
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Designed Vintage Silver Color Candle Sticks
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Designed Vintage Silver Color Candle Sticks
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $20- $40
$50 Bids
Cloisonnévase als Lampenfuß, China, Republik-Zeit, 1. H. 20. Jh.
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CEST
Cloisonnévase als Lampenfuß, China, Republik-Zeit, 1. H. 20. Jh.
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €150- €180
€500 Bids
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Chinese Molded Porcelain Candle Stick
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Molded Porcelain Candle Stick
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
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Chinese Longquan Type Porcelain Oil Lamp
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Longquan Type Porcelain Oil Lamp
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $20- $30
$50 Bids
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Chinese Old Enameled on Brass Lamp
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Old Enameled on Brass Lamp
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $30- $50
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Lamps & Lights


Andrew Jones Auctions

Andrew Jones Auctions

Wealthier Art & Auction

Wealthier Art & Auction

Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales

Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales

I.M. Chait Gallery

I.M. Chait Gallery