Antique oil lamps are valued collectibles, and if you have one in your house, you likely treasure it. But sometimes, accidents happen. While it can be very upsetting to break the glass globe of an antique oil lamp, you can usually find a replacement that will suit the lamp and restore its natural beauty. Be aware that if the oil lamp globe, often called a chimney, that broke was an original component of the lamp, some might argue that the lamp has lost its antique value. Nevertheless, you need to find a replacement globe and restore your lamp to its former self and function if you want to continue to use it, regardless of any antique value considerations. You should never use an oil lamp without a globe because this could cause a hazardous situation.
Finding a Replacement Globe
You might be thinking that finding a replacement glass globe or chimney for an antique lamp is going to be difficult, but that's not necessarily so. You'll find the largest selection of oil lamp glass globes in old country hardware stores, but other retail outlets and some online sources also carry an assortment of replacement glass chimneys. Check out these online sources:
You can also try Home Depot and lighting centers as local sources.
How to Find the Right Size
Although a four-inch diameter could be considered to be the standard base size for oil lamps, you should measure the base size for your globe as well as the approximate height to give the retailer an idea of the size and type of lamp you have. This will ensure your replacement globe fits your lamp snugly.
If you have scoured all the sources and can't find a similar replacement for your lamp, a plain glass globe might work to get your lamp back in working order. Even a shorter globe can function as well as the old one when a taller replacement is not available. Replacement globes are usually very affordable and well worth the cost to restore your oil lamp.
If you're shopping locally, remember to bring a padded bag with you to make it easier to transport this very fragile item.
If You Can't Find a Replacement
If you've looked everywhere and have come up empty, you'll have to accept the fact that your antique oil lamp cannot be safely used. If you want to replace it, you have a wealth of options. Check on eBay, Etsy, Houzz, Mercari Vintage and Collectibles, 1st Dibs, W.T. Kirkman Lanterns, or Antique Lamp Supply. Before you buy, learn how to tell if the lamp is actually an antique or just a reproduction if you are considering a lamp from a site such as eBay or Etsy as opposed to a retailer or local antique dealer.