Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Barsony Bargain

Those who follow me on Facebook or Instagram have already seen this Barsony beauty, but it's about time I shared her here. In the middle of this year I was in one of my favourite op shops with one of my closest friends from Melbourne. She is such a naughty generous friend because she said "the op shopping is on me". That's just the kind of person she is. Anyway after browsing through the shop I lastly circled the bric-a-brac area, & I spied this lamp. I squeed in delight knowing it was a famous Barsony black lady lamp. It was only $15! And she's wearing GREEN. In good working order apart from missing her pearl earrings. Finding a Barsony lamp is like an op shopping urban legend!
I walked around like the cat that got the cream, & my sweet girlfriend was SO happy to shout me that lamp. This style usually sells from about $350 upwards.
It would have to be one of my most valuable thrifted finds yet.

Here's a little history on the Barsony brand as shared by my gal pal Celia of Kitty's Vintage Kitsch

Barsony ceramics was an Australian company in existence from the early 50s until 2005. Their most popular works, however, were only produced from the early 50s to the mid-70s. The company was started by Hungarian immigrant George Barsony and his English-born wife Jean around 1950.
They produced a wide variety of household ceramic items (ashtrays, figurines, wall plaques and lamps) in satin black, lustre, pastel and white finishes, but are best known and loved for their 'black lady lamps'.
Barsony products were so popular in the 50s and 60s that the factory in Sydneys west was operational 24 hours a day to cope with the demand. As with so many things 50s, the lamps became unfashionable in the late 70s/early 80s, and many people thought of them as junk, throwing out to the garage or in a box to collect dust. With the renaissance of MCM and 50s style in the last 15 years or so, they have experienced a huge resurgence in popularity, and are currently among the most sought-after and highly prized homewares among MCM/50s collectors in Australia. Many, but not all, Barsony lamps that have shades were produced with plastic ribbon shades, and these are still the most popular shades now. Black lady lamp bases generally feature much hand-painted detail, and, as shown below, many of the ballerina lamps have diamantes along the edge of the skirt.

What's been your most valuable op shopped find???


  1. Ahh, she's a real beauty, Leisa! And a gift from a lovely friend, that makes it all the sweeter!
    I'm not sure what my most valuable charity shop find has been - maybe a 1960s Jacques Heim gold beaded dress (which I really should sell). I'm still on the hunt for my One Big Find! xx

  2. What a lovely friend and a pretty lamp, too! She's a very elegant lady.
    Hmmm, not sure. The 60s Lewis leather biker jacket I bought for £2 and sold for £400? My Ossie Clark dress & the blazer I wore last week, my Pucci dresses, the Tretchikoffs I've collected for under a tenner? xxx

  3. So jealous which isn't nice I know, but I had my Nan's Barsony (bought for her by my Mum with her very first pay check) until a shelf (dodgily put up by my husband. Ahem!!!) came crashing down from the wall above it and smashed it!!! :( :( :(
    I still have the shade and a bag of crushed plaster bits. And a bad case of resentment toward my husband ;)
    Have a lovely Christmas Leisa x

    p.s. this 'disaster' happened years ago and I still haven't told my Mum!

  4. Oh she's beautiful!

    My most valuable find...I'm thinking maybe my Dolce and Gabbana pumps or one of my fur coats.


  5. Oh my, what a beautiful lamp! I love it.

    I don't have many valuable finds, though I'm sure some of my finds people would pay more for these days than I did at the time. I do have Stephen Pearson's 'Wings of Love' which I got for £2.50 and shortly after saw it for £25 in a vintage shop. I just looked on ebay and it isn't less than £24 these days.

  6. What a lovely find! she is so beautiful - its like you hit the op shop jackpot! I don't think I've ever found anything worth very much at an op shop! If I did, I'm clueless about it:)


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