Tuesday, 7 June 2011

1950s Tulip standard lamp...spooky Brisbane!

The things you find when you are not really looking...like this 1950s standard lamp that was hanging around in someone's creepy old shed.

This is not mine. Mine is dirtier and missing a couple of bits and pieces.
image from here

A couple of weeks ago I made an ebay purchase - two bar stools for the deck. The seller was called Jack Sim. I thought, "Hang on, that name is really, really familiar."

When I called Jack to arrange a time to pick up my items, I asked if he was the Jack Sim who conducts Brisbane Ghost Tours and author of many true Brisbane crime titles such as Bloody Brisbane.

He said yes.

I exclaimed,"Oh, you're famous!"

He replied ever so creepily, "Yes; dead famous."

Jack Sim
image from here

I giggled nervously because Jack is indeed dead famous. He wears funereal black wherever he goes and delves into the history of Brisbane's most heinous crimes.  It was with great trepidation I agreed to meet up with him at his secluded shed to pick up my ebay items...

When I arrived at my destination, Jack gave me a tour of his dark and creepy shed. He showed me his collection of Australian poison bottles with original labels. Having the word "kill" or "dead" on the label tickled his fancy.

My favourite bottles were the empty bottles of DDT to control head lice on children and a lady's purse pack of DDT to ward of mosquitoes. It is just crazy to imagine that a generation or so ago people used to use  this stuff without question!

Jack also showed me an ornate coffin which he plans to use for his burial. He said someone was already occupying it and lifted the lid quickly.

I screamed.

"That's not a real person, is it?"

But Jack brushed over my question and didn't respond.

Just as I was taking my leave, Jack asked if I was interested in buying the tulip standard lamp which was hiding in a dark corner of the shed. He told me he was moving away from his mid-century phase and returning to his Art Deco roots. He's currently restoring a 1930s Hearse for personalised ghost tours and is embracing vintage funeral suits.

Anyway, these types of standard lamps don't crop up too often around suburban Brisbane, so I snapped it up. It's a fun piece which I can restore over time or pass on to my mid century friends if I tire of its atomic shape.

Tulip standard lamp at home. Sorry for the dodgy photo taken earlier this evening. It looks better  in person.
I don't know too much of the history of these lamps. They come in black as well, because I have friends who have the same lamp. It has an iconic 50s style. My lamp is gold and chrome. It needs a good clean to make it shine again though.

I think it is just hilarious that my new lamp came from Brisbane's leading ghost expert. He's such an interesting person who knows a lot about Brisbane's dark and bloody past. His theories debunking the Mayne Inheritance murders were also insightful.

You know the best thing about it all was that Jack said he had heard of Zoila Stables, the original owner of the Sow's Ear.



  1. I'm interested about debunking the Mayne Inheritance. Sounds interesting...

  2. I would love love to know his theories about the Mayne murders. That book is perhaps one of my all time favs. I have always wanted to go on the Mayne tour and also the toowong cemetery tour. AMAZING that he had heard of Zoila what did he say about her ? Details, I need details ha, cheers Katherine PS I wonder if any ghosts have attached themselves to your lamp (which is very cool and is if you will get tired of it.. humpf said in mock teenage voice) Also wonder what the ghost of Zoila will make of the lamp and its recent owner ha

  3. That is such an amazing story. I like the lamp too.

    Jack Sims sounds fascinating, spooky, but fascinating.

  4. Farmer's Wife, I know. I spent way too much time talking to him that morning.

    Martha, he's releasing a book later this year about the Mayne murders. Completely and utterly fascinating from my conversation with him!

    Katherine, I'm trying hard not to think about the ghosts hiding in my lamp!!

  5. Katherine how could you say ot out loud lol so creepy hope you sleep brismod ha
    I think the Mayne Mystery would make a great movie or is there one already?
    Any luck with the Zoila photo search?

  6. You win for the wackiest way of getting a lamp!

  7. Nothing better than a piece of furniture with a story to tell. How lucky for you to stumble onto such a well suited find? Looks great in your space too. melx

  8. As we often say around here "It's a small world." Fascinating coincidences.

  9. He sounds like he's one of a kind, and I love people who aren't afraid of a bad pun.

    What's his theory on the Mayne family? I'm interested in the children and why none of them ever got married. Isn't one theory that they didn't want to pass-on the crazy gene?

    I say, pass-on the crazy gene.

  10. What a great story! How great that he knew of Zoila! Gosh, it's a small, spooky world!!

  11. The Mayne Inheritance is a fantastic read! I highly recommended it. The book is filled with places that still stand today, and its great walking around Brisbane and knowing that a murder happened somewhere.

  12. What a quirky way to score a fun lamp which you can "restore over time" ha ha!

  13. What an exciting day especially to unfold in that way when you weren't expecting it. That's a very cool Jetson type lamp. I love the idea of this man collecting all those poison bottles too..they used to creep me out as a kid with their skull and crossbones in the glass and their funny little shape with a little lip on the rim and all dark brown glass..very secretive looking!

  14. It just goes to show how one thing leads to another.Great score on you lamp. What a fascinating guy.

  15. That would have been an amazing experience! I have read one of his books about Brisbane murders and I have read The Mayne Inheritance! Both so interesting! (and btw, literally and coincidentally, as I write this, there is a woman telling a ghost story on tv!) Woooooh!!


Love to read your comments

Related Posts with Thumbnails