Tripod Floor Lamps: Then and Now

Tripod Floor Lamps: Then and Now

So I’m on another lighting kick, and this time it’s all about tripod floor lamps. Now I know they are ‘seen and to be seen’ everywhere right now, but that’s not why I’m featuring them. Well, maybe just a little. We desperately need more lighting in our living room and I have always been a fan of the tripod lamp. I just think it’s got a presence about it that’s hard to beat. And a lot of what you’re seeing today is a take off on some gorgeous classics.

Have you seen this 1940’s beauty by Walter von Nessen?


I know, hard to believe this lamp is over 70 years old! I love the brass features – the round base holding the rods, and the ball where the legs converge. You don’t see these two features in many tripod lamps, yet the overall design speaks to timeless elegance.

Gerald Thurston. His designs are stunning and have stood the test of time.

Like this 1950’s brass lamp.


Isn’t the mini shade perfect for the slight profile of this lamp?

And his 1960’s brass lamp with walnut capped legs.


In fact, many of Thurston’s designs featured the walnut capped legs. The only thing I’m not crazy about on this lamp is seeing the cone casing. I’d rather it was hidden, but if this lamp came my way, I wouldn’t say ‘no’!

I prefer this brass & walnut style better.


Do you see what I mean about the cone casing? It’s no where to be seen on this lamp… much more more elegant. I also like the variation in how the walnut covers these legs. What about the shade? Which do you like better, the symmetrical drum, or the tapered drum?

Now take a look at this bronze tripod lamp from Macy’s.


Isn’t it interesting the similarities of this modern day lamp to the vintage Thurston’s of yesterday? Proof that with great design the passage of time is irrelevant.

I know you will have seen this next photo in my last post


But it’s the lamp I want you to notice this time. Remember, this one is a Mid-Century Modern from the Eames era, around 1960.

And this next one is Jonathan Adler’s Ventana lamp.


Jonathan Adler was born in 1966, and I don’t think he was designing lamps just then! So again… a modern version of a Mid-Century design.

And this one is designed by Steven & Chris… Sabados and Hyndman.


And we all know who S&C are, right? Their lamp is a bit of a mix: a vintage photographer’s floor lamp, and the MCM lamp above. I really think they combined the best of both in this lamp.

Here is an example of a vintage photographer’s lamp…


So you can see the legs aren’t exactly the same as S&C’s lamp, but it’s where they fasten to the lamp pole that is similar. And then of course the light itself is completely different, but that’s where S&C’s design incorporates a drum shade much like the vintage classics above.

There are so many variations of the tripod floor lamp out there.

And here’s just one more. I love this antique surveyor’s lamp.


Legs and shade. That’s all the detail you need with exquisite lines like this.

These are a few of my modern day favourites.


I like this one from Remodelista. Love the legs. They remind me of tools from a compass set!

But if I had to pick just one…


I would totally pick this Adesso Director floor lamp from the modern day options. And the von Nessen from the vintage classics. But I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them!

Would you invest in a tripod lamp for the long haul? If you could choose any of these, which one would you pick?

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