Last month I visited a local shop in Topanga with a great selection of costumes for Halloween. But the shop is much more than that.
It's a tightly packed collection of vintage clothes, antiques and doo-dads. Everywhere you look there's something interesting - and wacky. There are ship figureheads. There are plaster statues of Assyrian figures. There are old diver's helmets.
In addition to a vast collection of vintage clothing, they also have a huge stock of vintage linens, tablecloths and fabrics in an alcove in the back. But as I was browsing around, I suddenly started to see the light.
As I walked around the shop, I was suddenly struck by the number of lamps and light fixtures they had. Especially, lamps from the forties and fifties with a crazy kitschy style. Here's a plaster pirate lamp. There's another one back in the corner, making a pair. Notice, too, the naked lady lamp next to him.
I love this plaster lamp of a dancing girl with a tambourine, her flowing skirt swirling. This lamp actually had a mark on the base, a serial number, a copyright symbol, and the words "Rock o' Stone." The leaves aren't printed on the lampshade - they're real leaves from a vine twining from the ceiling. But they're perfect for the lamp, aren't they?
This metal floor lamp had a glass shade with diffuser panels behind the glass. The wrought foliage at the lamp-base and at the top of the shade was tinged a verdigris color.
Here's another plaster lamp from the '50s with a dancer in motion. The shade and the harp are in bad shape, but it's a beautiful piece. Next to it are some odd looking fixtures from the '60s - I couldn't tell if they were part of a floor lamp or a chandelier in pieces.
This plaster lamp with fishes is a lot of fun. Notice the finely crafted, intricate lampshade, too.
Here's another amazing piece. I'm not sure what she's pulling behind her - it almost looks like a feather boa. She had a mark on her base that read "Nino [or Nimo] of California - Adele Lawrence 1951." There were signs of repaired damage on this lamp, but it's still terrific, and like the fish lamp, the shade was a beautiful one.
Here's a pair of pretty little boudoir lamps featuring boy and girl figurines. Next to it is a plaster sailing ship with a light socket behind it. I think lamps like this are called TV lamps.
Here's another one. There were others shaped like shells with mermaids or ladies on them, or classical art deco figures.
Here's a lamp featuring an acrobat, holding a glass-shaded lamp on her raised foot.
This lamp, with classical ladies on it, was only $75.00. The shop was so jam-packed it was hard to get close enough to inspect it - it almost looks like the base is chipped, but I can't tell for sure.
Finally, here's a pair of exotic dancers - a boy and a girl, of olive-green plaster. Their costumes seem to be Turkish, with "I Dream of Jeannie" - style trousers. I came back again and again to look at them. The label on the base said "Stern". They were priced under $100 for the pair - and they worked!
I'm always shy when I show people funky stuff I find beautiful - what if you all write in and say "Gah! those are hideous!" But I really think they're cool, even though they need new shades. Here they are together, at home - Don't they make cool His-n-Her bedside lamps?
What do you think? any suggestions for new shades?
Hidden Treasures is located in the heart of Topanga Canyon, on Topanga Canyon Boulevard just south of Pine Tree Circle and the Post Office.