This was the chandelier that came in our new home:
Don't get me wrong, it was nice and all. But it just wasn't old enough.
This, on the other hand, is perfect:
I spotted this magnificent piece of history a while back on Craigslist. It was $500. I didn't have an extra $500 sitting around but I fully support wishful thinking so I dove head first into a serious round of I'll-just-research-this-til-I-convince-myself-it's-worth-the-$500-I-don't-have.
The Craiglist ad showed a picture of the lamp's manufacturer sticker so I used that to Google-vestigate.
That's cool if you're into history--but what was of use to me was that Virden was acquired by the Scott & Fetzer Company in 1965. The label of my prized light fixture showed it was from the Virden Lighting Division of Scott & Fetzer. Scott & Fetzer sold their divisions in 1977. Which meeeeeans my fixture was made between 1965 and 1977.
I also learned that the Virden lighting catalog came out every two years. I was able to dig up the 1959 catalog, which means the catalog came out in odd-numbered years. If I had to guess I'd say my fixture was from 1967. Here's a similar light fixture (bottom right) from the 1959 Virden catalog from the Internet Archive:
I scoured Ebay and Etsy and everywhere in between to find a comparable light fixture to compare prices but I couldn't find anything like it anywhere. This was weeks ago so I tried again now. The closest I could find was this:
The bad news: It really was worth $500. Probably more than that actually. And, even so, I couldn't afford it. So I let it go.
Kind of. I checked back sort of embarrassingly frequently. A month later it was still available. AND it was around half the price.
The good news: I am expert haggler and got the price down to $200...which was still more than I could afford in real life. And yet...
I plan to keep this gem for a very long time or to sell it for much more than I paid for it in the event that Jackson Lloyd needs an emergency liver transplant. The old-new chandelier that came with the house is still in the attic so we can put it back up to appease the herd of prospective buyers when we eventually move out of here.
PS, I know Columbus Day is kind of a ridiculous holiday for anyone who actually pays attention to history, but Columbus just so happens to be the name of our cat. So--Happy Columbus Day from Columbus the Cat!