Buying

When buying a 1227 there are a few key factors.

  • Is it cheap?
  1. Yes: If you’re lucky you can still find 1227s at car boot sales, at tips or on junk shops or markets. If it’s cheap and not broken you’ve got nothing to loose. Ebay is a bit more of an unknown sometimes lamps go for ok prices but it can be difficult to know what your getting and postage can be a killer, both in terms of cost as they are heavy lamps but also a killer to the lamp itself, the shades and aluminium shade and arm are pretty fragile if not packed well.
  2. No: if its a bit more pricey then read on, here are a few things to consider:
  • How old/rare is it? Have a look at the 1227 Dating page. If its a three step in any condition its worth getting, but if the seller knows what it is they might get pricey. Even if it’s an early small shade two step its worth getting, just for parts if nothing else.
  • What condition is it in?  This is important as it effects how much you’ll need to spend to get it up and running. Most lamps will need a rewire and that means replacing wire and fittings, that might not sound like much but it can add up. Have a look at the restoration and links page for useful bits and bobs.
  • Are the springs present or rusty? Replacements are not cheap.
  • How dented is the shade? You might not care too much, after all its part of their character.
  • Personally I’d always be wary of anything that has been re-chromed.

If there is a break, bend or fracture in the arm, or the hinge is broken in any way, I’d say walk away, another one will turn up. Fakes: There are alot of 3 step fakes out there, this is because a 3 step is worth quite a bit more than any 2 step. They are made by adding a modern 3 step base to an old lamp. Here’s what to avoid: if its fake:

  • The ‘V’ section is a single casting rather than the original made of several parts. This doesn’t inherently mean it’s fake as there were some crossover lamps when the design changed and a few using up old parts. However it can be a good indicator.
  • The base itself will be to perfect, and to sharp. The original castings were quite rough, this is why crack paint was used to hide the imperfections.
  • on some fake 3 steps you will find the later aluminium arm. (though be aware even if its steel it may not be original as it may have been made from an early 2 step as these also had steel arms.
  • on some fake 3 steps you will find there is even the later, larger shade.

(thanks to ebay memeber rogerrogerho3 for information on this)

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