When collecting you can make your collection from anything that interests you. You can make it as easy, or as hard, as you want. You can also make it expensive, or relatively inexpensive. The photo above shows a very unique collection of Washington drape plain stem lamps. What makes the collection so unusually unique is that it is quite simply made up of color variations within one family of Aladdin lamps.

When they were manufactured, and marketed, the plain stem Washington drapes were cataloged in three colors, which were clear crystal, amber crystal, and green crystal. Above however, are fifteen plain stem Washington drape lamps that all vary to some degree in color. Many of the colors are "tints" of the original colors, being lighter or darker shades of the listed color for the particular lamps in a series.

Not all the variations are simply differences in the depth of a particular color. Some lamps are a shade of a completely different color than the original colors. This would include such lamps as the pink tint, blue tint, or smoke tint. Further more, the degree of the color within the blue, pink, or smoke color lamps can vary from a barely discernable tint to a pronounced individual color. As with most other Aladdin lamps the darker colors are the most sought after.

While the collection of lamps above are plain stem Washington drape lamps, the color variations can be found in most of the lamps manufactured by Aladdin including vase lamps. You will see a few examples here, but there are many others not shown. They exist in most of the glass lamps. Even a yellow Vertique can range from a bright canary yellow, to one that has a pronounced green tint.

No one is sure why these variations occurred. There are many assumptions, but no real evidence to substantiate those assumptions. Usually the assumptions range from the glass vat not being properly cleaned between different colors, to a difference in the chemical formula of the glass itself. Whatever the reason, it does make these lamps rather unique and distinctive. They are not found in large numbers either, which of course only makes them more desirable to collectors when they are found.



These are a few examples of color variations in my collection but they are far from all of them. The green lamp on the far left in the above photo is what I would consider the "original" green crystal plain stem Washington drape. The dark green lamp second from the left is simply a darker variation, but the next three lamps are not even close to the original color listings for the plain stem Washington drape lamps. The middle lamp is a highly sought "pink" tint, the second from the right is what I choose to call a "smoke" tint, and the far right is a blue tint.



Left to right, pink tint,smoke tint,blue tint.


This photo shows color variation in the amber plain stem Washington drapes. The lamps on the left if the original amber, while the middle is more yellow, and the right more red.


Just so you don't get the idea the color variations are only in the Washington drape lamps this is an example in the Corinthian lamps. The lamp on the right is considered the original green crystal color while the one on the left is a darker shade. Some Aladdin lamps do have a light, and dark lamp in their series, but this isn't one of them.