The Man with the Lamp
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Frequent load-shedding sparked a passion in Pune-based Dr Sharad Sangamnerkar for collecting antique lamps
Back in the 1970s, when Pune (then Poona) was still a city that grappled with issues of frequent load-shedding and odd power cuts, Dr Sharad Sangamnerkar had to do what he could to have enough light in his clinic to see patients. Necessity ignited a passion and Sangamnerkar began collecting lamps. Forty years later, Sangamnerkar now has a collection of over 250 antique lamps that he is exhibiting in Hadapsar.
Speaking of the past, Sangamnerkar says he had to meet patients till late evening. "So I began to use lamps, candles and whatever else I could lay my hands on for a light source. The Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) was kind enough to give me directions as far as my collection is concerned. I bought my first lamp in 1972 from Juna Bazaar," says he. His collection ranges from hanging lamps to table decoration lamps, standing lamps and railway signal lamps.
"Most of them are made of brass. The oldest one is a railway signal lamp from GIPR (Great Indian Peninsula Railway), dating back to 1870. Besides that most lamps are from Germany or Austria and are characterised by their ornate designs, heavy brass scroll work and the powerful light beam they project. They not only work well even now, but also have a wonderful old charm when used to light up a room," says the 73-year-old.
Sangamnerkar's most prized lamps are the GIPR signal lamp and a book lamp. Shaped like a book, the book lamp was a chance discovery at Juna Bazaar. "When I began collecting lamps, I also began researching them, so I knew that a book lamp was used by photographers when they needed extra light in their studios. Around 10 years ago, when I was strolling through Juna Bazaar, I happened to spot one and promptly bought it. It was a happy discovery,"
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