BEST Daily IELTS Reading Test, 30th June

BEST Daily IELTS Reading Test, 30th June

Test – 29

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on questions 28-40.

The Unending Appeal of Lampshades

A. Though no one is certain when the first lampshades were first invented, it can be safely assumed these have been around for centuries. Before the invention of the electric bulb, these shades were made of glass and served the purpose of covering kerosene lamps. And before this, there were shades of mental and other toughened material to cover wicker lamps lit in the night.

B. Over the years, the idea of lampshade has not changed. It is used to diffuse the harsh light that emanates from the source. Its use became extensive when the incandescent filament electric bulbs were first invented in 1869. In those days, the bulbs did not have any calibrated wattage and most of them shone very brightly. Shades both saved the eyes from the harsh light, and at the same time, these let the glow from the lamp illuminate the room.

C. In earlier times, the main purpose of lampshades was to spread light without letting the glare pass through. That explains why many of them were – and still are – made from handmade paper, velvet, silk and cotton. Usually these fabrics were stretched on a wire frame with beading hanging from the bottom of it. By the beginning of 20th century, a number of lampshades also started being made in stone, porcelain, stained glass for ornamental appeal.

D. However, once the functional aspect of the lampshade had been mastered, designers began concentrating on its decorative appeal. Shades started being used to add grace and impart an aesthetic appeal to the interior décor and were made in various designs, patterns, sizes, shapes and colors. Apart from being specially designed to create an ambience in a room and spread a warm glow, new designs began to add drama and set a romantic mood. Special shades were created to highlight works of art. These were also used to draw attention of guests to a host’s personal style and décor while spreading soothing illumination.

E. The personal – day interior decorators extensively exploit the elegance of lampshades. New boutiques are mushrooming that have on offer some of the most exotic collections that will add warmth and sparkle to a room. Thus, from an object of utility, the lampshade in its present avatar has become a collectible that reflects the refined taste of homeowner.

F. Lampshades were first made trendy in the 19th century by one of America’s greatest artists and designers, Louis Comfort Tiffany, who along with his father, founded the iconic Tiffany and Company. The Tiffany lampshades were unique due to the selection of the individual pieces of glass of varied colours and densities and became extremely popular. Tiffany lamps, especially their mosaic shades, are now considered part of the Art Nouveau Movement and a few remaining ones are in museums around the world and a handful with avid art connoisseurs.

G. A proof of Tiffany’s popularity can be had from the fact that during the first decade of the 20th century a new series called the Lotus Lamp collection was so much in demand that each lamp was selling at the mind-boggling price of $750. Today though there are many reproductions and imitations, only one original Tiffany Lotus Lamp remains and is one of the most covered collectibles. It was auctioned in 1997 by Christies to an unnamed private collector for around Rs. 16.85 crore ($2807500) Tiffany replicas nowadays come in different shapes like oval, rectangular, square, drum or bell and empire style and still are much in demand.

H. Lampshades, says interior designer Manini Kalla, can lead a great charm to the living room. These look best on glass or wooden coffee tables. If you are choosing a simple lamp, then go in for imaginative shades for a standout erect. These should be placed strategically so that these look best when lit up. Lampshade colours can be classified into bright, soft, subtle, warm, cool and bold.

These can make a dramatic impact and highlighted the ambience of your house. Says Mannini, “Choose the shade colours you are comfortable with. If you are a black and white personality, you won’t be happy in pastels and vice-versa. But remember, shades must have some relevance in the overall décor of your home and should go with complete ambience.

I. Once you have the right lampshades, your living room will become a topic of conversation and a very busy part of your home as more and more guests will like to spend time there. Shades come in shapes of barrel, rum, ribbed bell and empire style. Choose the one you think will best suit the décor. Though you can be innovative, usually a round shade looks good on a round base and a square goes with a square base.

Light coloured shades diffuse light most efficiently. Dark shades should be used to create ambience and drama in a room. Smooth and plain shades look cool in any setting. However, if you have antique pieces, use a pleated shade. If you are using a high-wattage bulb that generates heat, go for a wide shade that is few inches removed from the bulb.

Questions 28-36

The passage has nine sections labeled A-I. Which section contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-I in boxes 28-36 on your answer sheet.

NB. You may use any letter more than once.

28. start of focus on adornment of lampshades

29. a  brief history of lampshades

30. lampshades as part of a new movement in art

31. choosing the right shade

32. classification of colours

33. utility based use of lampshades

34. variety of material for lampshades

35. fabulous earnings from lampshades

36. lampshades – a magnet for guests

Questions 37-40

Do the following statements agree with information given in the passage?

TRUE – if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE – if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN – if there is no information on this

37. The shades of lamps should be in tune with the internal setting of a home.

38. Lampshades gave impetus to the invention of the electric bulb.

39. The main purpose of lampshades has been to scatter the piercing light.

40. Lampshades were very popular before 1869..


28. D

29. A

30. F

31. I

32. H

33. B

34. C

35. G

36. I

37. TRUE


39. TRUE


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BEST Daily IELTS Reading Test, 30th June

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