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Tole Table Lamps by Dana Gibson

Shop Room Tonic's curated collection of Dana Gibson's tole table lamps in vibrant colors and whimsical patterns. Dana's pallets are colorful and bright bringing contemporary design to timeless patterns and motifs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tole, also known as toleware is painted tin. It is derived from the French term, tôle peinte, which literally means "painted sheet metal", which is the same thing as what the English refer to as japanning on tin. This is a technique borrowed from the Far East that involves the application of a heavy, black lacquer finish to metal objects like serving trays, tea caddies, covered jars, candle shades and even tole shades that you might find on chandeliers and bouillotte lamps. In the mid-17th century, the Welsh towns of Pontypool and Usk discovered this method of creating a corrosion free varnish made from linseed oil, asphaltum, and burnt umber. The successful discovery of this method led to decorative painting and stenciling on tin objects as well as black lacquered or "japanned" wood furniture. Japanning and toleware became wildly popular in Europe and America in the 19th century with artists who used lots of gilding to paint Chinoiserie scenes on trays and furniture that portrayed the European interpretation of the Far East with scenes including pagodas, gardens, tea houses, and willow trees. In America, toleware usually refers to kitchen, dining, and tableware objects created from tin, whereby folk artists often painted very colorful flower arrangements and other scenes in a variety of decorative styles.