Last week, when I posted these pictures of brass lamps on my Instagram stories, I was overwhelmed by the queries from you all as to where these shops were. This post is a celebration and curation of several similar ones I found online.
We identify with these. After ooh-aahing over the glittering candles and shining lanterns, our hearts finally find solace only in shining those antique brass and bronze lamps for the festive season, or floating marigolds in copper vessels with flowers.; that’s our identity, so why shy away from it.
Last week, I was visiting my home town and neighboring places (Kumbakonam, Trichy) famous for their tall vilakkus (lamps). It is not uncommon to find 4-5 feet tall lamps in most homes, that are often taken out during Navratri. This time mom took me to a few shops where she has been buying brass and bronze from for years. She gifts diyas, kumkum boxes, and whatever is in trend that year during Navratri. She was surprised I’ve never had the opportunity to visit this treasure trove and took me there.
This is not a sponsored post. Check out these shops for some unique brass an bronze lamps. After all, no Diwali is complete without lighting up all the corners with these brass beauties.
A set of individual brass lamps line up an old rectangular platter similar to that of one half of a pallanguzhi. PC: Indian Antiquest
A pair of 12cm tall vintage brass lamps comprising sixteen lotus petals form a lotus bud in full bloom where every petal opens up to reveal the bowl to light the wick dipped in oil. PC: The Indian Weave
A brass peacock oil lamp hand crafted with a beautifully engraved peacock surrounded by 9 petal shaped oil lamps with a bell under each lamp. PC: The Indian Weave
This hanging lamp of Lord Ganesha is surrounded by 20 Brass Oil Lamps or diyas like a lotus flower flanked by beautiful twin peacocks and the mythical yazhis – a combination of few animals each symbolic of its strength. PC: The Indian Weave
These 19 cm tall vintage pair of oil and wick lamps are handcrafted by artisans from Uttar Pradesh with exquisite parrots on slim pillars holding an oil lamp with chains suspended from their beaks. PC: The Indian Weave
This one is called the Thooku-Vilakku – “Hanging Lamp” in Malayalam with an amazing patina and a solid thick chain; it is made from bell metal, using the “Lost Wax” process of metal casting. PC: The Indian Weave
A double step hanging brass lamp with Goddess Lakshmi. PC: Jaypore
Tips to shine your metal ware:
I was talking to the shop owner amazed at how they maintain the shine on their metal ware. When I asked him, what they use to clean the copper jug or the brass lamps, he said, “just tamarind and Sabena.” There were some brass urlis that were cheaply price while the heavy ones were 50% expensive. He said the lighter ones were made of brass and will lose shine quickly – they will have to washed everyday, while the heavier ones are made of bronze of and it’s enough to clean once a week. There were the antique finish ones, too, that are free of maintenance.