You know, trawling auction sites is like a disease. Sometimes it gets better and sometimes it gets worse.
Worse in this case meaning I buy stuff. This little lamp became mine because it sort of but not quite matches the window lamp I already had and no one else wanted it because...
The covering of the cord is completely shredded and the original shade is so badly faded, it's orangey pink instead of teal. See the colour difference? The chocolate brown is the original colour of the cord, I'll spare you from seeing the shade.
Luckily I knew a store where I could buy a new cord, and making a new shade from a scrap of linen was no trouble at all. I also replaced the original 60W (!) light bulb with 2W LED bulb, and I now have an adorable little window lamp for the kitchen.
As I was extracting the cord from the bulb socket, I saw that the insulation around the wires was crumbling. Combine that with the shredded cover (I didn't see any exposed wires there when I inspected the cord, but it was only a matter of time), and it means that I would have electrocuted myself, or Sona, or caused a fire if I had not replaced cord.
The reason for all the damage was that the little bakelite bumper ring had come loose from the hole where the cord passes through the foot into the stem. I discovered it hanging out with the plug and relocated it back to the hole to protect the new cord. A reason why no one thought to turn the lamp upside down and screw it back in completely eludes me.
On one hand, changing a vintage item hurts, but on the other hand, it's not a rare or valuable vintage, and I want to use it safely. I've been holding back on changing the first little lamp because that shade is more complicated and someone already did change the cord, but this "makeover" has been so successful that I've even bought the new cord and some red fabric for the inner layer of the shade.
If I get to that project this year is another matter entirely. I have a 1920s frock to make for a party, and some gift knitting to complete.