what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

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what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

Post by squeaky on Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:29 pm

I bought an antique clarke's fairy lamp years ago at an antique auction. Since I've had it I've burned regular tealights in it with no problems. I then started to search ebay for them and bought several off the internet. I see that some go for quite a bit of money and i was wondering if I spent that much money on one, ($500 and up) I would sure hate for something to happen to it. I bought 2 clarke fairy lamps alike and they have pretty thick glass domes on them (since my original one has a thin glass dome and still no problems with it) and after about 10 minutes of a tealight burning in it I heard a loud "tink" and saw that one of them cracked!! The other one I had for a few weeks before finding another just like it ( i wanted a match pair) and burned a tealight it in with no problems and lo and behold tonight it cracked the same way the other one did!!! I asked a question to a ebay seller about one she had for almost $500 and asked her if it was okay to burn tealights in them and she said that tealights today burn much hotter than the ones back in the day these were made. The whole idea to have them is to use them for their intended purpose of burning a candle in them. Why would my very thin domed glass one which i've had for several years and have burned countless candles in it with no problems can take the heat and these ones i just got off of ebay burned a couple of times and cracked immediately? I know someone told me about the phony tealight LED things can be used, but to me they just don't put out the light a real candle does. I'm now scared to burn any more candles in any of my fairy lamps in fear of this happening. All of my lamps are clarkes and are older ones. That's what I prefer to collect, but at the same time I just don't want them to sit in a curio cabinet. I love the mood lighting of candles everywhere.....what is your suggestions????

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Re: what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:49 am

Squeaky,

I am sorry your fairy lamp shades cracked. However, I would not recommend burning tealights or any other candles in your antique fairy lamps. I understand your desire to burn them as they were originally used, but parrafin candles are much too hot to be used. And, agree that most LED lights are unsatisfactory. There is only one in my opinion that comes close and that has limited battery power to be used every day. But, it has a bright "white" light that shows the glass well. I am not at home right now and don't have the information readily available. Perhaps someone else can post what they are called.

And, as sad as it sounds, antique fairy lamps should be relegated to the curio cabinet to be enjoyed and preserved for future generations.

Jim.
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Re: what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:37 am

The LED lights are BRINKMANN Waterproof GO LED Lights. They are available at Target for $4.99 for four. They have a bright white LED light and are "throwaway" as there is no means to replace the wafer battery. They stay bright for a few hours but will begin to grow dimmer over time. They are especially useful if you want to show the color of the glass or want to light a lithophane shade.

Jim.
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Re: what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

Post by cadking on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:46 pm

I also feel that burning new style candles in the antique lamps is asking for trouble. When Bob and Pat were writing their book, they did research on modern candles (with the aid of the Fenton Glass Company) on what the difference was between the new and old candles. One thing that came to light (no pun intended) was that when new candles are lit, the temperature in the shade spikes within several minutes. The thinking was if you light the candle and leave the shade off for a while, and let the heat spike subside (once the candle had burned into the wax) it would be safer and would prevent the cracking. But even the old candles on occasion would crack the glass which is evident in the Crown lamp (working from memory as I donít have a book in front of me, figure R-14) which are mostly cracked from trapping the heat.
There is also rumored to be a cool burning tealite from the PartyLite Candle Company, but I havenít seen one of these items. I do like the white light from the Go LED lights. I am working on a design of a similar lamp that could be used and would have a replaceable battery pack. But that is still about 3 months away (I just finished the prototype, and it is working great).

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Re: what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

Post by jnopoinsett on Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:39 am

The thinner glass shades are less likely to crack because they can adjust to the temperature change faster than the heavy glass shades. Uneven heating stresses the glass, and POP!...you have a crack. You are putting any antique glass fairy lamp at risk with a real candle.

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Re: what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

Post by Tinycatz on Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:41 pm

Has anyone had better luck burning soy candles instead of paraffin? They are supposed to burn 30-50% cooler than paraffin.
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Re: what kind of candles to burn in antique fairy lamps?

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:23 am

Tinycatz wrote:Has anyone had better luck burning soy candles instead of paraffin? They are supposed to burn 30-50% cooler than paraffin.
I can't help you with information on soy candles. However, I would like to show you how well the battery LED lights work



These lights are about 1.25" in diameter and produce a bright "white" light. However, they get weak over time and the battery is not replaceable. I (and, I suspect many others) are anxious to see Cadking's new design.

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