You may see them at an estate sale tucked away in the back of a barn. At first glance, they look beautiful, but many people think that they really have no use for a candle burning porch light and move on to the next item. But there are adventurous and creative people who see how easy they are to re-purpose.
Pictured above is an 18th Century lantern that was originally crafted to hold an open flame. The 19th Century addition of a small piping element is evidence of it being converted to a gas light. The lantern was later removed and replaced with "modern" electric lighting. Look at the detail and patina of the metal. No modern light can capture this character.
Thankfully, it was saved by a creative treasure hunter and is ready to hang outside your front door. (This lantern is available at Silver Creek Antique in Locust Valley.)
What do you do if you find a beautiful hanging light but don't have a place to hang it?
No ceiling? No problem! This is another 18th Century lantern that was made to be hung outside a tall entryway. Not many people have the room for a large beauty like this. Again, it was saved and ingeniously hung by re-using and re-purposing antique wrought iron railings that suspend the lantern out from the wall so it can still hang as it was intended to do. Its new electric connection makes it safe and a bright light for a beautiful back garden.
You can easily make these changes yourself with the purchase of a light kit, or a local electrician can help you. The next time you see an antique light, we hope this inspires you to bring it home.
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