17 Oct 2011

Antique and Vintage Lamps – Through the Looking Glass

antiques (engl.) 2 Comments

There is something timeless about glass. It can compliment both traditional homes and also ultra-modern spaces.  Glass antique lamps can bring a real sense of style and luxury to any interior design.  Antique lamps can be functional, eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing.  They can brighten up any room in your home and are available in a wide range of different styles and designs.

Tiffany glass Antique Lamps

When most people think of glass antique lamps they think of Tiffany. Louis Comfort Tiffany was a premier glass designer who set up a company creating handmade glass items (known as favrile) in the 1890′s. Tiffany experimented with many different glass designs but he is most famous for his iconic stained glass antique lamps. 

These lamps are renowned for their quality and beauty and are still highly collectible to this day.  Some of the rarer designs are extremely valuable and are only to be found in museums or specialist private collections.  Tiffany antique lamps regularly sell for thousands at auction and some of the rarest pieces can achieve million dollar price tags. 

However the Tiffany factory manufactured a vast amount of lamps during the height of its production and there are plenty of more affordable options still out there to buy.  You can pick up some genuine Tiffany glass antique lamps for a few hundred pounds and also some very good replicas at even more affordable prices. 

Wright Glass Antique Lamps

Another collectible antique glass designer is Frank Lloyd Wright.  He is associated with the ‘Prairie’ and ‘Mission’ architecture and design schools.  This is part of the Arts and Crafts movement and has become very collectible in recent years.  Wright glass antique lamps tend to have a solid look with distinctive geometric patterns and lines.  Typically the bases are fashioned from wood, metal or ceramic and the colours are subdued. With an authentic Frank Lloyd Wright designed lamp, expect to spend money!

Reverse Painted Lamps

During the early 1900′s reverse painted glass lamps were popular.  This was a method that involved painting a design by hand onto the inside of a blank glass shade.  Typically these designs featured popular landscapes. The shade was then fired in an oven which set the paint into the glass.  Top reverse painted lamp manufacturers from this time include Handel, Jefferson, Pittsburgh and Moe Bridges.

The most collectible examples of reverse painted antique lamps are those known as ‘puffy’ styles.  These were created by the manufacturer Pair point and have distinctive moulded glass designs (symbolised flowers in most cases) that seem to puff outward.

Slag Glass Lamps

This is another collectable glass lamp from the early 1900′s.  These lamps were very popular among the middle classes and were commonly sold by gas and electric companies.  Slag glass lamps are crafted by first designing ribbed metal frames.  Glass panels are then fitted into the frames using both clipping and slotting methods.  In many cases the metal frame is designed to overlay the glass and create style highlights.

Typically slag glass lamps were crafted from amber or caramel coloured glass but there are also some fine examples in soft blues, pinks and greens.  Top manufacturers from the early 19th century include Handel, Bradley and Hubbard, Edward Miller & Co and Empire Lamp & Brass Mfg.Co. 

Glass Antique Lamp Buying Tips

When you are buying any antique lamps it is important to do your research and know what to look out for.  Always get a second opinion if you are unsure about the authenticity of a piece.  Use a reputable dealer who is happy to help you with any questions you may have.  Here are a few essential tips to help you buy glass antique lamps for your home:

·        You cannot rely just on one piece of evidence when looking for authenticity. Many designs such as original slag glass lamps will not feature a maker’s mark and those that do such as Tiffany antique lamps can easily be forged.  You will need to research the type of antique lamps you want to buy and be able to use several identifying factors to help you judge authenticity.
·        Think carefully about whether you want to display your antique lamps as purely decorative pieces or as functional items as well.  Some coloured glass antique lamps may not be that effective at lighting so you may need to consider using them more for decorative pieces and finding other lighting solutions for your rooms.  If you want the lamp as a functional piece then double check it is in full working order before you buy.
·        The base and shade may not both be original.  It is common for the base to be replaced because of damage or personal preference over the years. You can do a bit of research and check to see what type of base was originally produced with the type of antique lamps you are interested in.  Look out for possible indications of a swap such as if the lamp shade looks a little too large/small for the base or one item looks newer/older than the other.
·        Check the glass work very carefully for any cracks, chips or replaced parts/panels.  This can devalue antique lamps and can be expensive to repair.

There are some very beautiful glass antique lamps available on the market.  These can brighten up your interior designs and create stunning features in your rooms.  The great thing about antique lamps is that they can be practical and functions items as well as being highly decorative.

 

Maurice Robertson, principal of The Antique and Vintage Table Lamp Co, has had a lifetime’s association with antique porcelain and pottery, with his commercial experience spanning a period of over 45 years,including valuer to the Australian Government’s Incentive to the Arts Scheme. He has extended his ceramics expertise into the quality table lamps seen on the company’s site and is well known to local and international interior designers who have included many of his table lamps in their projects. He has also supplied items of national interest to the official Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister.The Antique and Vintage Table Lamp Co specialise in antique lamps with an exclusive on-line range of over 100 unique lamps.Lamps are shipped ready wired for the US, the UK and Australia.For further information you are invited to visit their web site at -:http://www.antiquelampshop.com© The Antique and Vintage Table Lamp Co 2011   
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2 Responses to “Antique and Vintage Lamps – Through the Looking Glass”

  1. Stained Glass Antique Lamp says:

    [...] Antique and Vintage Lamps – Through the Looking Glass … Tiffany experimented with many different glass designs but he is most famous for his iconic stained glass antique lamps  These lamps are renowned for their quality and beauty and are still highly collectible to this day. [...]

  2. Breanna says:

    These are some great antique lighting tips! Thanks for this article! It really has some great ideas that will be very helpful for those looking to decorate their homes. Great article, and very insightful!

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