A Matching Set!

Matching sets are so cool.

I collect matching sets, and finding enough fixtures to do a whole house can take years. The largest set I ever collected ended up with 27 companion fixtures!

Today I listed a set with just three fixtures, a chandelier and two matching sconces. Such a set would have often been used in a living or dining room.

The set is by Markel Electric Products (MEP), which was founded by Joseph Markel (1888-1966) in 1920. Markel was born in Lithuania and came to the United States in 1891. The company was located at 145 Seneca Street in Buffalo, New York. A century ago, this was a bustling industrial area. Down the street was the thriving Larkin Company, and their globally famous Administration Building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Today, the area is but a shadow of its former thriving self, and block after block is vacant. The Larkin Administration Building was demolished in the 1950s — a stunning act of cultural vandalism.

All large American cities once had busy industrial areas employing millions of workers, most of whom lived just blocks from the factories and walked (or took a streetcar) to work. All this seems like an ancient time, a lost age far, far away when America actually made stuff. Quality stuff, too.

Buffalo, like most rust-belt cities, has been troubled for a long time. However the city retains a wealth of incredible architectural masterpieces, including the magnificent Martin House Complex by Frank Lloyd Wright. The complex has been meticulously resurrected, and if you are ever in Buffalo it is a must see!

Buffalo also has a very cool retro-style baseball stadium.


Close-up of the chandelier.

Close-up of the chandelier.





And two matching 2-arm sconces!

And two matching 2-arm sconces!


These type fixtures are called strap-style because they are made primarily from flat metal bars, like belt straps. What I love about such fixtures is how curvaceous they are. Just lovely to look at. The style was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and used in a variety of home styles including bungalows, Arts & Crafts, Spanish-Revival, Colonial-Revival, and Four-squares.


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  1. Blair Carmichael on October 9, 2016 at 10:15 pm


  2. Amy Becker on February 8, 2020 at 7:39 pm


    Markel Products STILL exists:

    You should see that part of Buffalo NOW:https://larkinsquare.com/

    The Darwin Martin house is definitely worth seeing: http://www.martinhouse.org/

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