Lampshade Types

Lamp shade styles and shapes Article by Jim Hoyle

Coolies ? Drums ? Bells ? Are we talking Chinese music or lamp shades ?


First we should lay a little ground work for this discussion.

A lamp shade has 3 basic measurements: top width, bottom width and side or slope length. There are other measurements on complex frames which is another subject.

The most popular shade types and styles are listed below:

1) Empire - Table lamp shade Has a straight sloped side. The shade slope is not exaggerated but rather at a traditional angle.

2) Bell -  Table lamp shade made of fine silk by Quoizel with gimp trim Sides are curved not straight.

3) Drum -  Drum shade tall shape > Drum shade bell curved sides Drum shade shallow short shape >Wine Shallow drum shadeA round barrel cylinder shape with straight side where the top and bottom diameter are near each other crating a near cylindrical or drum type of shape.

4) Coolie -  Modern wide coolie lamp shade A round shape with straight or curved sloped side. The shade slope is exaggerated due the top diameter being much smaller than the bottom diameter thus resembling a Chinese coolie hat.

5) Square -  Square lamp shadeYou know this one.

6) Rectangular -   Rectangle Lamp Shade Shade is oblong with right angle, cut or inverted corners.

7) Oval -  Oval lamp shade Shade is oblong and rounded

8) Hexagon -  Table lamp shade Six sides

9) Octagon -  Eight sides -  like above with 2 additional sides

10) Cut Corner -  Square lamp shade cut corner The corners are cut straight across instead of a right angle.

11) Inverted Cut Corner -  Inverted corner lamp shade The corners are cut inward in a curve instead of a right angle.

12) Inverted Out round Corner -   Square lamp shade The corners are rounded outward in a curve instead of a right angle.

13) Chandelier shades -  Side pleated chandelier shade   Mini shades clip on to a chandelier bulb

14) V Notch -   Floor lamp shade V Notch style The top or bottom edge has a "V" shaped design instead of being straight.

15) Gallery -   Victorian lamp shade gallery bell with custom beads The bottom edge has a wide gallery section which may have a different decorative treatment.

16) Fancy Square -  French square lamp shade A square top bell shape with square bottom where each bottom side has a single out scallop.

17) Bouillotte -  Bouillotte lamp A short drum (or bell drum), named after the French card game where this lamp and shade had its origin.

18) FLOOR lamp shade = short drum(or bell drum) Floor lamp shade, classic style - our most popular also called "Junior" made especially to fit a 6 way 3 arm reflector floor lamp that became popular c 1930.

19) Uno -  UNO lamp shade hexagon shape The shade "FITTER" is large enough to slip over or screw over the socket, commonly found on bridge arm floor lamps and cheap Chinese imports.

20) Mica -  Custom mica lamp shade Shades made from real mica which is mined from the earth and formed into sheets.  Mica = Mica = Natural is a natural mineral mined from the earth
21) Wicker - Wicker, rattan, bamboo, seagrass lamp shade Made of natural materials (also bamboo, rattan, sea grass).
22) Scallop lamp shades - Table lamp shade Undulating curved top or bottom creating a wavy appearance.


And much more...  There are hexagon bells and squares with inverted cut corners. There are V notch bell drums and most any other combinations of features that you may imagine...

It may be obvious that this could go on limited only by our imagination and the makers skill. Then there are custom shades in great variety and complexity.

Some say the shade makes the lamp and there is some truth in that. Just do not begin with an ugly lamp and expect your shade to redeem it !
Good luck on selecting your next lamp shade.

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