Antique oil lamps are beautiful, but their glass globes can be fragile. When one breaks, it may seem impossible to find another one that will fit. Replacement globes are hard to come by. Even if yours is quite old, however, it's possible to find one. Here’s how:
- Measure the globe. This piece is also called the “chimney” of the oil lamp. To find replacement oil lamp globes, you’ll have to know the exact size you need. If you have a matching pair, measure the unbroken glass globe to determine the ideal measurements. Measure the diameter at the base of the chimney, as well as the height. The replacement globe must fit snugly in order to work with your oil lamp, although it can be shorter than the original.
- Check your local stores. You can probably find oil lamp parts at your local hardware stores. Your local hardware stores or lighting stores may carry the most common sizes. If you’re lucky, yours will be one of these sizes. Most replacement oil lamp globes measure 4” in diameter. These globes will usually be plain glass; if you are looking for a more ornate style, you will not likely be able to find it locally.
- Look online. There are many websites dealing in replacement parts for oil lamps. They usually carry a wide variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. However, if your lamp is very old or unique, you may not be able to find a perfect match.
- Contact dealers of antique oil lamps. They often have replacement oil lamp parts, particularly globes. This is particularly helpful if yours is very old and is a nonstandard size, or if you’re looking for a particularly embellished type of chimney rather than one that is clear glass. They may also be able to identify the maker of the oil lamp, which can aid you in your search.
- Try the new oil lamp globe in your oil lamp. Once you have found one that appears to be the correct size, fit it onto your oil lamp. It should fit snugly, with very little room to move.
While replacing the oil lamp globe with a reproduction can lower the value of an antique lamp, the replacement chimney can restore it's beauty and function. Please note that these lamps should not be used without the glass globe; it relies on it to keep the flame from flickering. A replacement globe should usually cost under $10, so do not try to use it without one.