Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Phantom Flower fiber optic lamp does anyone know anything about them please?

Does anyone know anything about a Phantom Flower fiber optic lamp please? It's thought to date to 1969/early 70's. There's a name beginning with "A" but it's so small we cannot read it. It looks very similar to the Crestworth Galaxy, but there's obvious differences. Although the flowers look exactly like flowers found in one of the Crestworth fiber lamps. It lights up and changes colours as it rotates. I need to put a 20w bulb in as per the label, just waiting for them to arrive. We've wanted to add a fiber optic lamp to our collection for a long time, we were looking for a Crestworth Galaxy, then we found this one, beautiful design. 

Any information would be great please :) 

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Yes the flowers revolve. The labels are German, the flowers are totally made of fiber optics, no silk. I've found some details of two of these lamps on the net, both describe them as late 60s early 70's no idea if that's right or not though. But it's old, you can see that by the switches, also by the interior dirt it held. It's not a cheap and nasty piece of kit, it's quality within. It's totally quiet as it rotates very slowly. Beautiful colour changes within the flowers, multiple colours at a time. 

Jonas Clark-Elliott said:

Really cool. I suspect this is late 1970s or newer. A much grander version of lamps from Taiwan which were widely-available in the eighties. Do the flowers revolve?

I don't *think* it's that old, but I'm not sure. Fiber optic lamps with plastic fibers were being made in at least the early 1970s, but I haven't seen flower lamps newer than the late 70s (the Crestworth ones). All I've seen (I haven't examined a Crestworth one up close) used fibers glued side-by-side into a sheet, then cut to shape, with things like petals that required a compound curve having been glued to a sort of thin white fabric (maybe that's what was meant by "silk"?) that was either (I'm not sure) either sprayed with a hardening agent and then molded to shape, or already so treated but then temporarily heated/softened and molded.

The 80s and 90s Taiwanese ones were usually an acrylic box or, less commonly, hexagon, with the flowers inside and usually a key-wind music box in the base, but I've also seen a flower fiber optic spray inside a cheap Taiwanese rain lamp. The lamps were cheaply-made, and I understand Crestworth's flowers were nicer. I used flowers from a few of these cheapies for my "Midnight Planter" past-that-never-was lamp, just cutting the stalks to separate the flowers.

It's a puzzler really, given there doesn't seem to be any around to compare to. My Mother-in-law had an 80's cheapo one in a tall black box which you could wind up and it played music (there's currently loads on eBay like hers)That had pink silk flowers along with fiber optic flowers and bits of fiber optic leaves etc. It was mesmerising to watch, but it looked totally naff and every bit of it looked cheap. It sounded horrendous as well, like a child's toy, but I guess that's just my opinion. 

The fibres of this one are single strands all fixed together in sheets with something clear, possibly clear tape, it's hard to tell. I like it's outer shape the most, very retro. It's huge though, I've stood in on a tall black circular glass table on its own. It's just a puzzler really, given it has a vintage switch, some vintage parts and a vintage German label. Their logo stared with an "A" but I can't find anything out about it. 

Wouldn't argue with mid-late seventies for the Crestworth flowers, and I've often wondered about the term "silk" - I think Jonas is spot on, it's a generic workplace term for thin strong fabric of sorts.

I'm not sure that your flowers are all woven fibres though, I thought mine were for ages but even plastic fibres (which some of the flowers are) couldn't be woven I don't believe... I'm going to try to attach close-ups of my Crestworth flowers, you'll see they look quite like yours, but please remember mine are on LED conversions... I've come to love them, they were hard work to sort out at first, but as a set they are special (yes I have the set...)

I'll go and try to get some decent photos. The fibres are all individual and held together from behind each flower. I'll update with pics shortly

That would be great, you can see from the lower of my two pix, the green flower looks like individual fibres but I can't see how it was done

Hope these shots help, I've no idea what I'm talking about lol. But I can say that each thread is individual stuck together with something (no idea what) then some bits of tape what look like clear tape behind some of the tops of the flowers as well. I can't take really close up shots of it lit up, as my camera is rubbish and won't act fast enough, even though it revolves very slowly. 

It doesn't look anywhere near as good as your flowers quality. 

What are woven flowers? 

um I don't know about that, yours look fantastic lit up, but I can see what you mean about them being all fibres when they are unlit... they show their manufacture don't they? Not woven but arranged - must have been a really skilled job requiring dollops of patience

I think the methodology for both our flowers is similar and look at the thick "stamens" (??) - they are thicker plastic (on mine too)... mine have black backing under the Galaxy-type smoked acrylic domes so they are highlit which helps the display

I like yours being in a globe, though

Yes arranged, that's a good way to describe them. What I was meaning is not a regular silk flower with some bits of fibre coming out of the middle of the flowers, like a lot of the modern lamps. The fibres are plastic, they are not glass strands. I've taken that shot in macro closeup, so they do look huge lol. 

Yes, Susan, Andy, your flowers are made the same way as the cheap music box ones, they're just more artistically-shaped. The material is a flat sheet made of plastic fibers, which was then cut into the required widths, wrapped and glued. I think some has a very thin cloth-like material to stiffen it, which may be heated and shaped so that it forms curves not obtainable simply by bending. Susan, your flowers approach the level of the very best, the Crestworth ones, or so they seem via photos.

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