Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

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Comment by Jonas Clark-Elliott on May 12, 2022 at 1:57am

This is the "Aristocrat" model, series 1100. There are several variants: a black model with gold paint (1110), and the long-produced "Starburst Aristocrat" (1120) with a brass base having pinholes. A matte black base, the "Commander," exists too, and silver and gloss black ones were made in the 1990s. Collectors generally call this a "squiggle Aristocrat" due to the gold paint, which was hand-applied. The squiggles were made from 1966 until maybe 1970, with black ones coming later; the earliest ones had a gold cap, and soon after the caps began matching the base. The version with a planter bowl for plastic flowers was the "Decorator," and only came in white.

The lava in yours is kaput, unfortunately, but it may or may not be replaceable; oftentimes, the problem was the wax's density changing with age. Refilling means dumping the cold liquid (NOT the wax!) and refilling with distilled water; poke the wax down with a spoon or something, let it get hot until the wax is molten (it should use a 30-watt incandescent R-20 reflector bulb) and very slowly add epsom salts and stir very gently until the wax pool forms a dome shape. Then wait between small additions until you get a flow. If the wax won't stay down... it's toast.

Another option is locating another screw-cap globe and very carefully switching the caps.

Comment by Paul on March 11, 2022 at 1:42pm

I would like to know more about my grandparents lava lamp shown in the two images. Approximate year made, where made, that kind of stuff. I stared at this thing in wonder when very young. I'd love to know more. I appreciate any help or pointers. Thank you, Paul

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