Authentic Antique Tiffany Lamps and Lighting

On this page, you will find only real antique Tiffany Studios New York Lamp and lighting information NOT Tiffany Style or Reproduction Tiffany Lamps.

1 - Tiffany Studios Dore 12 Light Lily Lamp

Have you antique lamp appraised and any questions you may have about your antique lighting answered by Professional Auctioneer and Author John Fontaine. John, An expert on lighting by Tiffany, Handel, Duffner & Kimberly, Pairpoint, Williamson and more has been featured on CNBC news and many popular antique and collecting publications.

Fontaine’s Antique Auction Gallery Buys and Sells Authentic Antique Tiffany Lamps.

Fontaine’s enjoys a national reputation for strong, sometimes record-setting prices for a wide range of quality antiques Tiffany Lamps and fine art. After 45 years in the Antiques Business Fontaine’s provides Professional Appraisals and Exceptional Customer Service. Our areas of particular strength are Lighting by Tiffany, Pairpoint, Handel, Duffner & Kimberly, others; 19th century/historic lighting.

A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with a stained glass shade. The pieces of stained glass that Fontaine’s Antique Auction Gallery Buys and Sells Tiffany Lamp scomprise a Tiffany shade are soldered together with copper foil. Original Tiffany lamps are generally considered part of the Art Nouveau movement and are considered one of the best American contributions to SOLD FONTAINE’S AUCTION: this movement that began in Europe in the late 19th century. The first Tiffany lamp was created in 1899 with a bronze base and was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The record price for an original Tiffany Studios lamp at a public sale exceeds US$8,000,000.

History Of Tiffany Lamps

Approximately, around the year 1895, the first Tiffany lamp was created. Even though they were made in multiples, there is no record of the quantity of each lamp completed. Beautiful in design and intricacy, each lamp was made by hand, not mass or machine produced. [1] Usually, the people who made his works come to life, were extremely knowledgeable of the craft. Tiffany’s colleagues, Emarel Freshel, and Clara Driscoll are known as two of his famed workers. Freshel designed the Wisteria and Pond Lily lamps and Driscoll made patterns consisting of flowers and butterflies for his lamps.

Tiffanys first business venture was an interior design firm in New York, for which he designed stained glass windows, and doing so he came up with the idea to construct lamps. With the remaining pieces from his windows, Tiffany arranged the glass to form a lamp. [2] Although he continued to paint and design for quite some time, Tiffany’s main desire was glasswork.

Roughly, over twenty years of time, Tiffany designed the many specific styles of his lamps. Most of his luminaries can be grouped into one of seven specific categories, defining their detailed characteristics. The: Irregular Upper and Lower Border, Favrile, Geometric, Transition to Flowers, Flowered Cone, and Flowered Globe lamps. The Irregular Upper and Lower Border lamps carry an openwork crown edge that helps to stimulate a branch, tree, or shrubbery. The Favrile category, which means handcrafted, identifies the first lamps Tiffany made with this label. His initials LCT later replaced the Favrile stamp.

The Geometric category speaks for itself. Tiffany used small geometric shapes such as triangles, squares, rectangles, and ovals to form these specific lamps. Next is the Transition to Flowers group, which is subdivided into the Flowered Cone and Globe lamps. All of these lamps follow a defined nature or botanical design using flowers, dragonflies, spiders and their webs, butterflies, and peacock feathers. The difference within these two smaller categories is that the lamps encompass different shapes, a cone, and a globe.[3]

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Tiffany Studios Daffodil Table Lamp
Tiffany Studios Apple Blossom Table Lamp

Production of Tiffany Lamps

Aside from their categorization, every lamp is prepared by using the Copper Foil method. First, a pattern for the lamp is drawn out on a heavy piece of cardboard. Next, a number and glass color is written on the pattern piece. After the pattern is drawn and labeled, the glass is laid over it and traced. Once the pattern is traced onto the glass, the pieces can be cut and ground to their correct shape. Next, the pieces need to be cleaned so the copper foil can be applied to the edges. The copper foil solution allows the pieces to adhere together. After the lamp has been placed accordingly and it is fully bonded, the edges need to be soldered together for a firm hold. Finally, after the lamp has been soldered it is cleaned to bring out its beauty.[4]? See some of our Tiffany Lighting examples
References

Tiffany lamp. www.barnsandwagner.com. Sept 2006.
Tiffany, Louis Comfort. Tiffany lamp. The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Ed. 2001-5.
Neustadt, E. Lamps of Tiffany. Neustadt Museum of Tiffany Art. 1970.
Tiffany lamp. www.willowglen.com. 1993/2006.
Tiffany Lamp Appraisal, John Fontaine, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, Pittsfield MA 01201

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How To Spot An Authentic Antique Tiffany Lamp

Published: Monday, 18 Oct 2010 | 1:34 PM ET

By: When it comes to Antique Tiffany lamps, everyone thinks they’ve got one.

Its become a phrase. Any leaded lamp is called a Tiffany lamp, adds auctioneer John Fontaine, of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, who has been in the business for 42 years.

Fontaine gets about 50 calls a week to verify if a lamp is a real Tiffany. Most are not the real thing.

What they’re hoping they have a genuine Tiffany lamp could be worth a small fortune. The originals, those made in the 1890s to 1930s by Tiffany Studios under the watchful eye of Louis Comfort Tiffany, can be worth anywhere from $4,000 to over $1 million. The most ever paid for an original was $2.8 million.

Floral lamps command the most money, says Jeni Sandberg a specialist in 20th century decorative arts. Intense colors are what people favor. Geometric lamps are generally worth less than the floral lamps.

Imitations are common. Several companies mimicked the Tiffany lamp style in the 1920s with cheaper, lesser quality models. In the past 30 to 40 years, forgeries have hit the market that can fool collectors and experts alike.

So what to do if you think you have a Tiffany lamp in your possession? Ultimately, you’ll need to bring it to an expert who has years of experience dealing with them.

Because Tiffany produced a lot of custom-made lamps, there aren’t many hard rules. Its more of a combination of factors when it comes to authentication. But if you’re staring at a lamp in your home or at an estate sale or antique shop, look for these characteristics to help determine if it is an original.

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Antique Tiffany Lamps - Tiffany Studios Zodiac Turtleback Desk Lamp
Tiffany Studios Zodiac Turtleback Desk Lamp
Oil Lamp In our Jan 21 2017 Antiques & Fine Arts Auction

The base: Tiffany almost always made its lamps with a bronze base. There were no wood, plastic, brass or zinc bases, says Tesdell, which are common with cheaper versions. Very rarely, however, art pottery bases were made.

The glass: Tiffany Studios mostly made its high-quality glass in New York, says Sandberg. Tiffany used a couple of techniques that makes their lamps stand out.

One is confetti glass, where specks of different colors are used on one of the many pieces of glass. Secondly the color of the glass actually changes when the lamp is lit.

Its origins: If youre in an antique shop or other sale, ask the seller to tell you who the previous owner was. If it came from an estate or was owned for the past 40 to 50 years by the same person, there’s a better chance its a real Tiffany lamp, says Fontaine.

People typically come upon authentic ones through their family, says Sandberg; either they inherit it or discover it in a basement or attic. It’s more rare, but some have found originals at antique shops and estate sales.

Stamps: The base of Tiffany lamps almost always carried a Tiffany Studios stamp with a number. Many of the glass shades were also stamped. Its also important to remember that an item stamped Tiffany & Co., the high-end jewelry and fine goods shop, is not the same. The lamps made by Louis Comfort Tiffany were stamped Tiffany Studios New York.

Signs of age: An authentic lamp wont look brand new. There will be what is called patina?fading or small color changes on the bronze parts of the lamp. But even this is not always fool proof. Really good reproductions, Fontaine says, mimic age on the base.

Light socket: Tiffany Studios usually made its lamps with a turn-paddle knob socket for on and off purposes, says Sandberg. A smaller number were made with a pull chain. Mostly, says Sandberg, companies such as General Electric, Bryant and Perkins made the sockets. A socket that has been changed could effect value. Some Tiffany lamps can also have a turn switch at the base.

Lead filling. Because of the high cost of bronze when the lamps were being made, Tiffany Studios made their bases hollow, says Fontaine. In order to support the heavy glass shades, a heavy ring of lead was placed in the base. Lifting the base cap and looking in the base, you should see grayish lead.

Knock the shade. Grab the top of the glass shade and knock on the glass lightly. Because of its age, and the drying of the wax used to hold the glass together, the shade should rattle, says Fontaine. A firmer glass shade that doesnt rattle could be a fake.

Ask for a guarantee: If youre buying what you think is an authentic Tiffany lamp, make sure you get a money-back guarantee. If a shop is not willing to offer one, you might be spending a lot of money on something that could be a fake.

To view listings of our past Authentic Antique Louis Comfort Tiffany Lighting & Lamps and our antique Tiffany lamp price guide please visit http://pricesrealized.fontainesauction.com and search the auctions for “Tiffany”

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