There were several solutions, and we tried the lot; a paste made from lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda (which fizzed over the top of the container, and didn't really make a paste at all), tomato ketchup, white vinegar. We spotted a common denominator here, and tried neat lemon juice, too. And a paste of bicarb with water.
To these folksy cleansers, we added the more modern (though actually pretty old now) Brasso, and hob cleaner. Separately, not mixed together. And a lot of elbow grease, kitchen paper and dusters. Between them, we had success! I won't say it was a quick and easy job, but it was actually quicker and easier than I had expected it would be.
That was yesterday. Today it was time to take down our lamp with the broken glass, and replace it with one of the new, old ones.
It was only when we took it down that we realized that it really was in a bit of a state. We knew about the broken glass. That had been our problem with it. But now we saw that the verdigris around the base of the glass was more than just a characterful colouring of the brass, but a full-on attack. We will not be selling this one on Ebay!
Then we realized that the old lamp had a different type of bulb fitting from the new one, and we'd need to buy a bulb for it. After a slow visit to Homebase, we came back with the bulb. And was it really easy to find that bulb? The hell it was!
Putting up the new lamp was almost a doddle. And here we have it, in daylight, and in cosy mode after dark.
Difficult choice. We like this lamp, and wouldn't have anywhere else to put it if we took it down. Do we replace it with the other new one, or leave it, and continue to enjoy their difference?
This is like shopping! Life is too full of choices! Ours is supposed to be a simple life!