Here is a quick tip.
Watch for PARTS.
Yes, I know that happens a fair bit when folks read my blog!
Here are some photos with captions that might explain it better:
Bought the Art Deco lamp without shade (left) a few years ago at an antiques shop for $10.
Bought the grungy, rusty bed headboard art deco lamp on the right at a garage sale recently.
The thing about these headboard reading lamps is that they are actually part of a set of 3 matching pieces. The other 2 pieces usually consisted of a pair of Art Deco bedside table lamps.
Most people assume the shade for the headboard lamp is open on both ends, thus unusable for anything other than a headboard reading lamp. You will now know better, as it is identical to the ones used on the bedside table lamps!
I will buy these all the time, as long as the glass in intact, just to scavenge the shades. There is also a style that uses a (usually) plain tubular shade (some have a marigold iridescent finish, some are plain milk glass, or clean with a frosted finish, and may possibly with a applied or etched decoration). That shade is open on both ends, but the shade is well worth grabbing, as it is even more often used on these Art Deco table lamps. It uses a wider diameter shade holder to accommodate its greater circumference.
After a bit of soap, water and a touch of bleach, the shade was ready to go on the Art Deco lamp.
I spiffed up the base, and VOILA, a $75+ lamp is born of a $11 expenditure.
Granted, I have had the Art Deco lamp base for a few years, but that is because I misplaced it after moving.
I have actually learned to not purposely hang on to parts, pieces and project too long, because that will actually start costing you money. Your time and storage space is money, after all. If antiquing/junking isn't your business, you might be able to wait for years for that "right" part for your treasure. Few (no one!) can truly afford to constantly buy items in need of work, and then hang on to those things for extreme periods, and not end up a potential candidate for appearing on one of the Hoarder reality shows. Be mindful of buying up items in need of work, partial items, parts, pieces, etc.
That said, though, utilizing a keen picker's eye there is $$$ to be made from those "broken", incomplete, and damaged collectibles! But, that is a posting for another day!
Let there be light!
Turn out the lights after you are done here, ok?