This is a two-part story, because we actually took care of two sets of lamps, both found in the family storage few months ago.
These dusty and oxidized brass wall appliques had a gloriuos past in the tavern of my grandparents house. For several years they witnessed every big family reunion, until they were no longer needed, the house eventually sold, and they were put in storage, probably for good. Surprisingly enough, even the wife could see the potential they had, beyond the spider webs, the dust and the oxidised metal. Their history only added the icing on the cake, and soon we were all set to start this simple DIY project.
Disassembling the lamps was not hard, they consists of very few components, and the simple design was already almost perfect for the new destination, requiring only minor modifications. Cleaning and polishing them, on the other hand, proved to be a long and tedious job, after being neglected for several years and left in a far from ideal storage solution. We used a soft metal polishing sponge, along with rags and specific creams and polishing liquids, before being satisfied with the results.
We decided to keep some imperfections and dark areas around some of the edges to give a "slightly seasoned" feel, rather than polish all to a bright and shiny "brand new" finish. Another option was also to paint the glass holder cup in a contrasting color, but the photoshop preview suggested that it wasn't the right style for the room they were intended to decorate.
As we wanted to transform them in two nightstands, we were not going to use the rear hook for wall mounting, we needed to design a base for keep them stable and avoid any scratch. A rounded wood plate made for a simple and effective support, as nobody will see the bottom of the brass "box", we just drilled it and used screws to keep the base in position.
In order to keep it all safe, all the electrical wirings and connections were replaced with new ones, and the old filament bulbs left the scene to new and efficient leds. Once completed and put in position, we realized that the 6 watts bulbs were a bit too bright for a soft and relaxing reading light, should you find yourself in the same situation, the possible solutions go from painting the glass, to put (heat resistant) decorations around the bulbs, to the simple downgrade to a smaller bulb, not forgetting that with the modern led bulbs is now possible to bring back the dimming functionality, providing you bought the wiring accordingly.