Arbeitskreis Geschichte des Kartonmodellbaus (AGK) e.V.

Five Lampshades - Card Model Download

No. 16. Chinesische Landschaft
[Chinese landscape - Lampshade]
Zinc-plate print, 4 colors
2 sheets 35,5 x 44 cm
publisher, location and date unknown,
probably Germany around 1905

Download sheet 1 JPG, 3,6 MB

Download sheet 2 JPG, 3,4 MB
Informations about the lampshade models
In 1855 the American professor of chemistry Benjamin Silliman jr. (1816–1885) designed the first paraffin lamp (a. k. a. kerosene lamp). From about 1870 onwards kerosene (paraffin, lamp oil) was used to illuminate indoor rooms on a broad scale. Since the cheap, basic (shadeless) lamps were blinding, resourceful people thought about possible remedies they could sell. Consequently, almost all printers of card models and similar paperware, always looking for new sales opportunities, took up the idea to produce lampshade construction sets. Of course the shades were printed with fashionable and popular motifs that might enhance sales. What would have been easier than making them into exhibitions of an ideal world or far-off countries? Thus, from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century, lampshades became a popular way to satisfy one's yearning for "beautiful places". Constant favorites were images of exoctic regions, in particular if they were way out of reach for the buyer; common examples (for US citizens) were Switzerland, India and Turkey. A very popular additional effect were "night images" – transparent sections that produced, when back-lit by the lamp, an illusion of seeing a night view of a town or landscape. If you are interested to read more about lampshades we recommend the corresponding chapter by Dieter Nievergelt in our book „Von der zweiten in die dritte Dimension – 500 Jahre Bauen mit Karton“ (p. 217), Möckmühl 2015.

At the "modell-hobby-spiel" fair 2016 in Leipzig the AGK had, among other things, 11 such lampshades on display, built by Dieter Nievergelt. In 2017 a smalle exhibition in the Schreiber museum in Esslingen shows approx. 20 different lamp shades. Because of a strong public demand we offer selected historical lampshades for download so you can print and build your own. All models shown are from the collection of Dieter Nievergelt who has also built the models and provided the images.

Notes about building these models
These models were sold without assembly instructions as we know them today, but generally one was expected to proceed in the order of the part numbers. To add "night image" effects you should cut out the black window and door spaces and glue colored transparent paper to their innside. To adapt the shade to the lamp it may be necessary to glue a cardboard disc into the top hole of the lampshade; cut out a hole that fits your lamp.

Please use the links provided with the shade examples to download the model sheets. We recommend to use stable cardboard of at least 160 - 220 g/cm2. Alternatively you can print the shades on standard paper and glue that paper to 300 g/m2 card stock (for example you could use wallpaper glue). This is a bit tricky as you must consider the grain direction of cardboard and paper (they should be parallel), or you will experience terrible warping. The sheet sizes given are the original sizes; please adapt them to your printing capabilities.
Vue de Constantinople
16 Constructions Abat-Jour pour Lampes
[Lampshade constructions for lamps 'Views of Constantinople' (today called Istanbul)]
Lithographic print, stencil-colored in 6 colors
1 sheet 38,5 x 49 cm
Olivier-Pinot, F-Epinal 1875

Download sheet JPG, 10,3 MB
5162/5163 Italienische Nacht
[Italian night - Lampshade]
Lithographic print, stencil-colored in 7 colors
2 sheets 34,5 x 42,5 cm
Eduard Robrahn & Co., D-Magdeburg after 1876

Download sheet 1 JPG, 2 MB

Download sheet 2 JPG, 2 MB
25 Constructions, Abat-Jour pour lampes. n.T.
[Swiss mountain landscape lampshade]
Lithographic print, stencil-colored in 6 colors
1 sheet 39 x 49,5 cm
Olivier-Pinot, F-Epinal dép. 1879

Download sheet JPG, 11 MB
4731 Lampenschirm. Kamerun
[Lampshade - Cameroon, Africa]
Lithographic print, stencil-colored in 6 colors
1 sheet 33,5 x 40,5 cm
Eduard Robrahn & Co., D-Magdeburg 1884

Download sheet JPG, 4.2 MB


Logo AGK

Home page and card model database of the AGK
Copyright © AGK & Heiko Schinke, 2006-2024 === Version 11.6 of 2023-12-17
In case of problems with this website please contact Heiko Schinke (
or phone him at +49-341-9959-692 (office) or +49-3461-4415494 (home)

Member of International List of Scale Model Related Web Sites