Monday, March 5, 2012

George Nelson Bubble Lamp Saucer Pendant Shade

The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed to protect anyone.

Fort Myers. A winter vacation destination for some. Year round home for others. People come here to get away from the bad weather up north. They go to the beach, they go to restaurants, and some of them go bargain hunting. Sometimes the bargains are good. Sometimes they're too good to be true. When that happens I go to work. My name's Thrifty, I carry a badge.

 Wednesday, February 29th, 11:43 am. It was sunny and warm in Fort Myers. I was working out of Thrift Store Division. My partner was Wonder Woman.

We had just left the Habitat For Humanity ReStore with a load of Metalcraft, Four Seasons wall art when we noticed a previously undiscovered thrift store. Turning the car around we investigated.

11:51 am. We entered Nic's THRIFT STORE. We spoke with the manager. After ascertaining the facts we did a walk through. On our way out, and while my partner was speaking to the manager about other possible thrift store locations, I looked high up on top of an armoir and found a saucer shaped George Nelson Bubble Lamp Shade.

Man, this thing is really clean. No tears in the fabric. It's solid.

11:59 am. I asked about the lamp shade I was holding. The manager indicated that it was for sale. I paid, thanked the lady, and my partner and I resumed patrol.

George Nelson first designed the bubble lamp in 1947 and Miller started producing them in the early 50s. This one is a fairly contemporary reproduction by Modernica. However it is made to Nelson's original specifications and handmade in Michigan.

I did not get an entire Nelson lamp. It's just the shade. But if you've been reading my past posts you've already learned that I know how to build lamps. Guess who's going to be building a George Nelson Saucer Bubble Lamp? 

These lamps are still available through several outlets. A google search will locate a dealer for you. They come in four sizes; small, medium, large and extra large. This one is a medium. It is about 25 inches across the widest part and about ten inches tall. Current retail is three hundred twenty nine bucks.

Everything I need to build a lamp into this - twenty bucks.
I'll publish an update to this post when this becomes a working lamp.

A great big thank you to Tammy and Nic at Nic's THRIFT STORE for the great lamp shade, and the directions to the two other thrift stores.

We'll be back later with . . . more stuff.


  1. Love your Sgt Fridays posts--always brings a smile to my face. Can't believe you found this at a thrift shop!!! I guess that Mr. Modtomic scores all the good stuff here in St.Louis, so it's all gone when we visit. cc (cluelesscampers)

  2. What a great find - ridiculous price! Love it.

  3. Give me a couple of days and I'll have a post on how to turn this into an operating lamp.

  4. Oh my gosh! What a great find! I always try to look high and low when thrifting. I found a Herman Miller Eames rolling side table at an estate sale while down on my hands an knees (it was rolled neatly under an ugly banquet table). I was seeing what kind of junk was under the banquet table when I caught a glimpse of some cool looking legs, followed them up, and saw the HM logo staring at me. $5 later it was mine :)