What is a Tiffany Lamp Worth? – Most expensive Tiffany Lamps
In this blog we discover the most expensive Tiffany Lamps in the World. To give you an idea of the range of values of authentic Tiffany Lamps I highlight some Tiffany Lamps sold at Auction.
In the second half of the blog I tell you how how to identify a Real Tiffany Lamp using Tiffany Lamp Markings and more!
Table of Contents
Authentic Tiffany Lamps are still highly sought after. I was interested in finding out what a Tiffany Lamp is worth.
Originally when I wrote this blog the most expensive Tiffany Lamp was sold for under $3 million. But as you will read below this has recently been surpassed by some margin.
Prices of authentic Tiffany Lamps start from around $4000 to over $3 million.
To find out where you can see real Tiffany Lamps read here!
Tiffany Pond Lily – the most expensive Tiffany Lamp
On December 13th, 2018 Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Pond Lily Table lamp sold at Christie’s for $3,372,500. This by far exceeded the guide price of $1,800,000 – $2,500,000 and was the most expensive Tiffany Lamp sold for in twenty years. “Pond Lily” was thought to have been made around 1903.
There are only ten known examples of the “Pond Lily” to have been built.
Production was discontinued in 1910.
If you want to view one of these stunning lamps then The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, have their own “Pond Lily”, gifted by Mr and Mrs Hugh Grant in 1974. The shade (model no. 344) measures 47.31 cm in diameter and the base (also model no. 344) is 67.4 cm in height.
This lamp has often been known as Flowering Lotus or Descending Lotus. It is expected that the Pond Lily is an early design. One indication of this is that the shade and base were designed in tandem The absence of marks and presence of early production numbers rather than model numbers is a further clue. The
original price was $400.
Previous to this the highest price a Tiffany Lamp fetched at auction was $2.8 million at a Christie’s auction in 1997.
A large lot of Tiffany Lamps sold at Murphy Auctions on December 5th, 2018.
Amongst the pieces sold was a large shade 16 panel Linenfold table lamp which realised $6,190.
A ten-light lily lamp with gold Favrile shades with lightly ribbed bodies on a base is finished in gold. The lamp 52.7 cm in height sold $25,200, which was less than its estimate.
Next was a Tiffany Studios Nautilus desk lamp with a bronze base depicting a mermaid rising out of the water with waves surrounding her body and with her hands supporting a nautilus shell shade. The
lamp is 16½ inches high and it went for $18,450, within estimate.
Perhaps the best example at the Tiffany Lamp Auction at the auction was a Poppy Table lamp that sold for less than its estimate at $141,450. At nearly 70 cm in height with a shade that is just over 50 cm in diameter this impressive lamp features purple and maroon poppies set against a mottled and shaded blue backdrop. It is
finished with a band of shaded green poppy leaves around the edge of the shade.
A Tiffany Studios Poppy table lamp measures 27 inches tall with a shade that is 20¼ inches in diameter. This lamp has a leaded glass shade in purple and maroon poppies set against a mottled and shaded blue background. A band of shaded green poppy leaves surround the edge of this shade. This lamp sold within
estimate at $141,450.
Lesser value authentic Tiffany Lamps
Lamps that are have harmoniously designed shades formed from a mosaic of hundreds of individual glass pieces are considered the ultimate examples and can be purchased for between $100,000 – $150,000
The later styles with floral designs and vibrant colors are the most popular examples for todays consumers. The more popular designs can range from the dreamy flowing floral designs like the Tiffany Daffodil lamp to the Oriental designs like the Tiffany Poppy Lamp.
How to identify a Real Tiffany Lamp – Tiffany Lamp Appraisal
There a few techniques that can show you how to identify a real Tiffany Lamp.
The form of a Tiffany Lampshade is important. They should have cone or globe shaped. A Tiffany Lamp normally comes with a brass base.
Tiffany Lamp designs are largely botanical in nature such as pond lilies, or feature dragonflies, butterflies, spiders and peacock feathers. Geometric patterns are also widely featured.
Due to the age of authentic Tiffany Lampshades there is likely to be some movement in the glass shade. So holding the shade at the top and lightly knocking on the glass can help to indicate you have a real Tiffany shade if there is a slight rattle. Fakes do not tend to rattle as the soldering is newer and firmer.
Much of the glass produced by Tiffany Studios contains specks of color, often known as confetti glass. Gold glass where used should have a translucent amber sheen. Fake shades containing gold glass often have a greenish tint or a very pale translucent gold color.
Tiffany Lamps have the paint embedded into the glass, whereas with some fakes the color can be painted onto the glass. Simply applying a small amount of nail remover to the glass surface can tell if this is the case.
An authentic Tiffany lamp should have a signature. On early model this will take the form of a thin sheet of brass that has been stamped with the Tiffany Studio name. These however are not difficult to make so you will need to look for further signs. Glass palates in some original lamps are less garish than fakes. The color palette of originals is more understated. In other lamps the pattern may have been altered and can appear sloppy compared to the original. The pattern of original lamps tend to be more natural in style than the fakes. The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass contains an archive of all the glass used by Tiffany Studios, so it is further possible to identify forgeries that are found to have been made with glass not by Tiffany Studios. Fake Tiffany lamps can also suffer from bad paintwork or soldering.
Tiffany lamp markings
Most authentic Tiffany Lamp shades are signed. How they are stamped varies over time. Some of the Shades bear the complete Tiffany name on the outer rim, while others state “Tiffany Studios”, Tiffany and Co.”, or initials. A lot of the shades have a model number, which can match the base if made as a set. The model number will appear by the name stamp. Many shades are marked by a bronze pad. These Tiffany lamp markings, stamps or signatures are pretty easy to copy so should not in isolation form a decision that you have a genuine Tiffany Lamp.
An original Tiffany Lamp base should contain a grey metal ring within the base cap. Practically all original lamps feature a hollow bronze base with a heavy ring of lead inside. In a small number of lamps mosaic bases were, however used. Brass, zinc, white metal, plastic or wood bases are common in fake models.
Tiffany bronze bases often develop a patina as they age. However better forgers can add a fake patina, so authenticity cannot be guaranteed by this alone.
Most real Tiffany Lamps feature a turn-paddle knob to operate them. There are a small number that use a chain pull instead.
A great resource in determining the authenticity of a Tiffany Lamp is the book “The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany” a collaboration by Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen. If nothing else it serves as a great piece of eye candy and is probably my favorite book covering Tiffany’s Lamps. There are some great essays included in the book as well as a comprehensive catalogue of the most important lamps.
Detecting a Tiffany Lamp Forgery by the Neustadt Collection:
Where can I see Tiffany lamps?/What museums have Tiffany Lamps?
What is Tiffany Style? Why buy a Tiffany Style Lamp?
We explain the difference between authentic Tiffany Studio Lamps and Tiffany Style Lamps.
Tiffany Style Lamps make for stunning alternatives to original lamps at an affordable price. We help you decide whether you should save for an original lamp or spend or choose a Tiffany Style Lamp.
We also discuss where Tiffany Style Lamps are made, how they’re made and some of the most popular manufactures of the reproduction Lamps.
The name “Tiffany” has become synonymous with all lamps of the same style. A Tiffany Style Lamp is not an authentic Tiffany Lamp. Original Louis Comfort Tiffany Lamps were not made after 1930 when Tiffany Studios closed.
So, What does Tiffany style lamp mean?
A Tiffany Style Lamp is instead a reproduction of an authentic Tiffany light or a lamp or shade that is made in the style of an original lamp. The name “Tiffany” has become synonymous with all lamps of the same style and many producers such as will include the term “Tiffany” in their lamp names by default.
Some manufacturers of Tiffany Style Lighting make forms that were not envisaged by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Some examples of these are shades made for bars, restaurants and pool tables.
Many Tiffany Style Lamps will copy the most popular designs dreamt up by Tiffany, such as Wisteria or Dragonfly patterns.
Furthermore a good quality Tiffany style lamp will be made with the same production process as the original lamps. No two Tiffany style lamps will be the same, with each piece being a creation in its own right.
Where are Tiffany Style Lamps made?
Asia is a hotbed of manufacturing of these lamps, especially in China.
Artisan producers throughout America and Europe still produce high quality reproductions. It is however, increasingly difficult for them to compete against the lower production costs and consistent build quality of the Asian models.
Buying an authentic lamp can be tricky and can require a reasonable amount of knowledge as to how to identify them.
A Tiffany Style Lamp is readily available for purchase at an affordable price for the most popular varieties. As well as particular designs it is easier to find a modern lamp in a wide variety of fittings.
Tiffany Style re-production Lamps contain more vivid colors than the original lamps. They are made using the same methods as original lamps. As they are unique in their own right and likely to be passed down through the generations the better examples are likely to be collectors items in their own right.
We have already seen examples of high quality works appreciating in value, if not to the dizzy heights of authentic lamps. In 2014 19 productions dating back to the 1960’s sold for between $960 to $5,400.
The value of a reproduction Tiffany lamp will depend on a number of factors. The most important of these are the quality of glass and the time taken to manufacture the lamp.
The consensus from users of the forum http://stainedglasstownsquare.com is that Chinese Lamps are of good quality. It was here that I discovered from forum user Dennis Brady that “Baoli Glass in China is now the world’s largest producer of art glass” and that the glass is cut extremely accurately by computer directed waterjets in the Tiffany factories of China and Taiwan.
What are the cons of buying a Tiffany Style Lamp?
Original lamps were assembled by a highly specialized team of artists, craftsmen, and inventors assembled by Louis Comfort Tiffany according to his vision.
The majority of Tiffany Style Lamps have not quite been able to match the level of craftsmanship of Tiffany Studios works.
Tiffany Studios introduced their own glassworks as the popularity of their products increased. The glass would include multiple hues from up to seven colors embedded in the glass, without the need for painting. Additional compounds were often added to the glass to help create an iridescent sheen.
Authentic lamps also have an appeal to collectors which is realised in re-sale prices.
How is a Tiffany Style Lamp made?
Tiffany Style Lamps are still made in the same way that Tiffany Studios made the Tiffany Lamps.
A template is designed to which colored glass is cut to size and the shapes laid out to the pattern. Lead soldering is first applied to the joins in glass on the outside of the shade. The shade is then removed from the template and soldering is applied to the inside joins.
The glass is cut from sheets march larger than those created by the original Tiffany Glassworks. The individual glass pieces are cut from the sheets using precision high-powered water jets machines. Tiffany style lamps are assembled by hand by trained factory workers, and so it can still be claimed that Tiffany Style Shades are handcrafted.
While most original lamp bases are made from brass, Tiffany style lamp bases can be made from a variety of metals, as well as plastic and wood.
As a result of the demands of mass production Tiffany Style lamps tend to be rather more rigid in form than the original flowing lamps inspired by nature.
One Chinese Factory is the Huizhou Baolian Lighting Co. Incorporated in 1999 the factory boasts up to ten designers and three work lines with up to 200 workers. The company turns over between $2.5 and $5 million per year.
Dale Tiffany has been one of the leading producers of Tiffany products for the last thirty years. They have sought out unique colors and finishes to help recreate Tiffany’s works. Additional attention is paid to the lamp base, where they use hand-casting technique to pour the metal, resulting in the fine bronze pieces. The art glass is hand rolled and of course the traditional copper foil method is used in the construction of the shade. Dale Tiffany is particularly renowned for the quality of their glass and uniformity of the soldered lines.
Dale Tiffany was the first global factory to standardise stained glass production and in the process became a national resource for the product category.
As well as reproductions, Dales designers have also adapted their techniques to create more contemporary works for today’s consumers.
Meyda Tiffany was formed by a husband and wife team Ida and Meyer Cohen. What started as a hobby, a stained-glass window in the kitchen to mask the neighbours ugly cars, it quickly became a passion and a business. Meyda’s family roots do actually go right back to the time of Louis Comfort Tiffany when they provided lighting designs to Tiffany Studios in the early 1900s.
Based in upstate New York there facilities now boast a 144,000 square foot manufacturing facility.
Today Meyda produce quality reproductions and original designs. Many of their lamps are produced in overseas factories using original methods.
Tiffany lamps by Paul Sahlin and his studio are amongst the highest quality materials and stained glass that produced the most striking color. It is indicated by gazettes.com that he ceased trading in Long Beach after 35 years in 2011. His works still seem to be widely available, however.
Authentic Tiffany Floor lamps – Most Valuable / Where to Buy
In this blog I detail the Top 6 Antique Tiffany Floor Lamps sold at auction, including the outstanding Authentic Tiffany Dragonfly Floor Lamp on display at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Other historical Antique Tiffany Floor Lamps highlighted include a Poinesettia Floor Lamp and Daffodil Floor Lamp.
We then discuss where to buy Genuine Louis Comfort Tiffany Floor Lamps including the Macklowe Gallery in New York, top auction houses featuring Authentic Tiffany Lamps and auction listing sites that feature historical details of Real Tiffany Lamps sold at auction and upcoming auctions.
If your looking to buy a Tiffany Style Floor Lamp then this review blog will give you the answers you need.
Antique Tiffany Floor lamps – Best Sold at Auction
Some examples of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s most famous tiffany floor lamps include:
1. Tiffany Studios Hanging Head “Dragonfly” Floor Lamp
The Museum of Fine Art in Boston have a fine example of the Tiffany Dragonfly Floor Lamp.
This lamp comes with a Mosaic and Turtle Back base and dates to between 1905 and 1910.
The dimensions of the lamp including shade and base are 33 1/8 x 22 1/2 inches.
In 1989 the lamp was acquired from Harvey Weinstein, by a Japanese collector Mr. Takeo Horiuch Mr Horiuch became an avid Tiffany collector and created the S. C. Tiffany Garden Museum in the coastal town of Matsue, Japan to house his collection. Arguably this collection became the most important Tiffany Studios and Art Nouveau to have existed. Circumstances dictated that the collection must be broken up and this Dragonfly Floor Lamp was acquired by Boston’s Museum of Fine Art via the auction house Michaan on December 12, 2012.
This cone-shaped lamp features a myriad of poinsettia blossoms in mottled shades of pink, red and amethyst, set against a backdrop of green and amber leaves and a ground of mottled white and turquoise.
The dimensions of the lamp including shade and base are 64 x 28 1/4 inches.
The lamp coming from the Estate of Charles Davis White Thompson fetched $317,500 at Doyle’s Auction on September 29th, 2004.
Another example considered to be the finest Poinsettia floor lamp was sold at Christies on December 10, 1998 for $795,000, exceeding its estimate of $400,00-$600,000. This lamp was 78 in x 26 inches and dates to around 1910.
The Tiffany Poinsettia Floor Lamps were said to have been inspired by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s love of nature as a Christmas piece, hence the red and green coloring.
According to a write up by Paul Doros for Sotheby’s the Poinsettia floor lamps first appeared for sale by Tiffany Studios around December, 2008. Poinsettia’s had already established a Christmas appeal in the United States since their introduction in 1828. These lamps were promoted as having a “distinctly Christmas atmosphere”.
The shades were available in six different sizes from 14 to 26 inches.
The table lamp version was not introduced for a further three years and was intended as a more affordable version, that was a “practical Christmas Gift of permanent value”.
Waddington’s Auction House of Toronto, Canada sold this Tiffany Floor Lamp on June 10th, 2009 for more than double the top end of its reserve price, realising $25,200
The dimensions of the lamp including shade and base are 54 x 10.2 inches.
5. Tiffany Studios, Leaded Daffodil Floor Lamp
This gorgeous Tiffany Floor lamp was sold by James D. Julia auction house on November 28, 2012.
Realising over 9 times the upper reserve price, the lamp realized $13,800 at the auction. While not as intricate as the Dragonfly floor lamp above, I personally believe this was excellent value for the delightful design, number of glass pieces and color palette.
Featuring yellow daffodils and green leaves, set against a mottled blue background the shade rests upon an undecorated brass junior floor base.
The shade dates from 1919 and the complete lamp measures 64 x 20 inches.
6. Tiffany Studios A Favrile Glass and Patinated Bronze Floor Lamp, circa 1900
This Tiffany Bronze Floor Lamp sold at Bonham’s auction house in London, United Kingdom on October 7th, 2015.
The lamp dating to around 1900 realized $1500 at auction.
Being one of Tiffany’s earlier pieces it is simpler in design than the Dragonfly or Daffodil floor lamps and does not feature the copper foil method of manufacture.
The dimensions of this lamp were not listed.
The six floor lamps listed above range in value from around $2000 to over $300,000. The values reached at auction date back to as far as the year 2000, so there is sure to be a significant increase in the value of these authentic Tiffany Floor Lamps if they went to auction today.
Where to buy Real Tiffany Lamps – Genuine Tiffany Floor Lamp
The Macklowe Gallery
The Macklowe Gallery features an extensive range of original tiffany floor lamps from their gallery in Park Avenue, New York.
Macklowe Gallery Tiffany Lamps range from the entire period of Tiffany Studios from around 1900 to 1928. The Tiffany Lamps on offer are all signed Tiffany Studios New York or Tiffany Furnaces.
Macklowe’s website features excellent photography of the lamps and detailed descriptions.
Tiffany Lamp Collections – Best Tiffany Lamp Museum
I have researched the best Tiffany Lamp Museum in the USA to see the stunning works of Louis Comfort Tiffany. I have ordered them by region for ease of planning your future trip.
The Top 2 Tiffany Lamp Collections on permanent public display in my opinion are The Luce Center at The New York Historical Society Museum and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum in Florida.
All of the other exhibitions contain authentic rare and beautiful examples of Tiffany Lamps and are worth a visit in their own right.
I have also uncovered some details of travelling collections and private collections that may be lesser known.
As I learn more about Tiffany Lamps collections I began to wander where I could visit to see them.
If you haven’t had your fill of antique roadshow Tiffany Lamps then I have researched for you the best museums to specifically see the stunning lights in all their glory.
Tiffany Lamps New York City – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums NYC
It is hardly surprising that Louis Comfort Tiffany’s heartland of New York is a mecca for Tiffany Lamps.
There are four Tiffany Lamp museum in New York that stand out for their collections of Tiffany lighting.
The Luce Center at The New York Historical Society Museum
New York Museum of Modern Art
The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany glass, Queens Museum
The MET Museum
The Luce Center, New York
The Luce Center presents the ultimate eye candy for lovers of Tiffany’s beautiful Lamps.The forth floor of the Henry Luce III Center was newly renovated as of April, 2017 and their stunning two-level Tiffany Lamp Gallery displays over illuminated 100 Tiffany Lamps in dramatic jewel like feature lighting.
Tiffany Lamp Gallery at the Luce Center
The lamps belong to the collection of The New-York Historical Society. The collection was formed in 1984 as a single gift from the prolific collector Dr. Egon Neustad. This collection is considered one of the most comprehensive and encyclopedic collections in existence. Dr Neustad stated that he aimed to buy every type of Tiffany Lamp made, even those that he did not relish. His purpose was to develop a definitive collection.
Dr Neustad loaned the collection to The New-York Historical Society in 1983. A year later he made the loan a permanent gift. The collection was valued at $7million at the time. This was a truly remarkable gift to the public. Perhaps the lamps would have been lost to public view if it wasn’t for Dr Neustads impeccable timing. He died the same year.
You can view a number of examples of the famous Tiffany Dragonfly Lamp, as well as rarer pieces such as the unique Tiffany Dogwood Floor Lamp, Wisteria Table Lamp and a rare intricate Cobweb Tiffany shade on a mosaic base. These delightful items date back to around 1900.
Amongst my favorite lamps are the Clematis chandelier a cone shaped Tiffany shade featuring striking blue clematis flowers in full bloom, a Laburnum table lamp which features an irregular lower border with cascading flower clusters in glorious shades of yellow and the impressive domed shade of the Tiffany Dogwood table lamp.
Alongside the collection of lamps the story of lamp making is told, and is right on message focusing on the achievements made by head designer Clara Driscoll as well as the “forgotten Tiffany Girls” that worked the Tiffany Studio. This creates a nice fit with the new Center for Women’s History at the Luce Center.
There are interactive features in the Gallery, including a design-a-lamp experience and story of electrification. Individual kiosks tell the stories of the “Tiffany Girls”.
New York Museum of Modern Art
The MOMA houses lists around 38 works by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Three of these are lamps – The Hanging Lotus Lamp, a floor lamp and a table lamp are listed in their collection. If you have an interest in Tiffany’s wider work or you are interested in one of these items specifically it may well be worth a visit. If however your time is limited in New York, you would be better served by visiting The Luce Center or The Neustadt Collection. It would be worth checking in advance of your visit if the lamps are on display.
The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany glass, New York
The Neustadt Collection, founded in 1969 by Egon and Hildegard Neustadt, comprises excellent examples of Tiffany Lamps, windows, metalwork. Works have been on display in a dedicated gallery at the Queens Museum since 1995. This is extremely apt as Tiffany’s workshop, studios and workshops were located only two miles away, in the Corona section of Queens. Not all items in the collection are on display at any one time.
The lamp collection is diverse and both includes rare works and multiple examples of the same designs. This affords some of the best opportunities for comparative study
The diversity of the lamp collection, which includes both rare examples and multiple interpretations of the same lamp design, affords unique opportunities for study, comparison and enthusiasts. The Neustadt Collection further has a comprehensive study of fakes and forgeries as well as period lamps produced by competing firms. All in all, the Neustadt collection is truly a world authority in the provenance of Tiffany Lamps.
Currently an exhibition “Tiffany’s Iridescence: Glass in Rainbow Hues” is running at The Queens until October 6, 2019. The revolutionary art and science Louis Comfort Tiffany in his sheet and blown glass is highlighted. Tiffany’s journey with glass is inspired by his passion for color and light in nature.
The Tiffany Glass Archive
Additionally The Tiffany Glass Archive contains including over a quarter of a million pieces of original Tiffany glass & jewels
Driven by his burgeoning success Tiffany needed greater control, variety and quantities of glass. This led to him establishing his own glass works. He even trademarked his glass calling it “Favrile”.
After Tiffany Studios ceased trading in 1937 all remaining stock was liquidated.
Dr. Egon Neustadt acquired the glass collection for its historical value in 1967.
In December 2018 a unique bi-monthly tour of the Tiffany Glass Archive was introduced. These run at 3pm every other Friday.
At just over $100 these curator led tours allow you to experience the beauty of 250,000 pieces of original Tiffany glass in every color, type and texture that you can imagine.
You will learn about Tiffany’s innovations in glassmaking and his significant contribution to the history of mosaics and stained glass.
Experience the interactive ‘touch table’ delight in exhilarating lighting demonstrations that show the glass at its magnificent best.
In October 2002 The MET Museum opened a gallery dedicated to Tiffany on the first floor of the American Wing. 70 majestic works of Louis Comfort Tiffany are featured including windows, lamps, furniture, mosaics, blown Favrile glass vases, pottery, enamelwork, and jewelry.
The addition pf the Tiffany gallery complements the adjoining Deedee Wigmore Gallery which is devoted to works from the Arts and Crafts movements.
I count 12 Tiffany Lamp and shades currently in the collection, with the addition of some supporting pieces.
Tiffany Lamps Chicago – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums Chicago
Driehaus Museum, Chicago
While most of the Tiffany lamps of the Driehaus collection are currently featuring in the travelling exhibition “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection” (see below) the museums website highlights the presence of a Tiffany Eighteen-Light Lily Table Lamp and Gothic Style Memorial Chandelier.
I would recommend before visiting checking with the museum that these items are on display.
Tiffany Lamps Florida – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums Florida
The Morse Museum, Orlando, Florida
The Morse Museum, or Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, is a fantastic treasure trove of Tiffany works, constructed at a cost of $5 million in 2010 in Winter Park, Orlando, Florida.
The Morse Museum has a unique link to Laurelton Hall was the home of Louis Comfort Tiffany. With grounds of 600 acres, many of Tiffany’s works were inspired from the nature he studied in his gardens.
From 1918 Laurelton Hall served as a home for Tiffany’s Foundation acting as a school for artists. At some point buildings were added which in part housed the famous Tiffany Chapel created for the Tiffany & Co. Pavilion at the Columbian Exposition of 1893.
After Tiffany’s death the buildings fell into disrepair and the foundations sold up in 1949. Laurelton Hall burned in 1957. It was at this point that Hugh McKean and Jeannette Genius McKean of the Morse Museum stepped in to save majority of historical windows and other surviving architectural pieces
Jeanette McKean was in fact a former student of Tiffany. She had been contacted by one of Tiffany’s daughters to inform them that some of the glass windows in Laurelton Hall remained intact. Her interest in Tiffany led her to create in 1955, one of the first dedicated exhibitions of Tiffany work.
The Morse Museum today features an impressive 6000 square foot of gallery space to display the Tiffany works salvaged from Laurelton Hall.
Even more dramatically is a faithful reconstruction of the Tiffany Chapel that bought him international acclaim. The chapel lay in packing crates for many decades while the McKean’s painstakingly researched the locations of the remaining elements dispersed after 1949. These items were acquired to ensure they were kept as a single collection.
It wasn’t until 1996, that the Board of Trustees, agreed an expansion project that would allow the Tiffany Chapel to be re installed. It took a dedicated team of craftsmen and conservation experts two years to realise that dream.
From a lighting perspective the highlight of the chapel is a jaw dropping
1,000-pound, 10-by-8-foot electrified chandelier.
The Tiffany Collection itself, the centrepiece of the Morse Museum is one of the most comprehensive in the World. It covers works from all periods in depth and has many unique pieces. Some people such as Vivienne Couldrey have describe the Morse Tiffany Collection as “the most important collection of Tiffany material in the world today.”
Among the highlights of the collection The Morse Museum list 27 Tiffany Lamps.
An ongoing exhibition “Lamps and Lighting—Tiffany and His Contemporaries” is featured amongst several other Tiffany exhibitions. This maps Tiffany’s interest in lighting through the early days of electricity and how he utilised technology and design to popularise his lamp works for a wide consumer audience.
I think it is fair to say that today the Morse Museum and Tiffany Chapel is the most inspiring and relevant setting to view Tiffany’s works according to his unique vision.
Fantastic Tiffany Glass at the Morse Museum
Other Museums in USA – Smaller Tiffany Lamp collections
A private collection “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection” is currently touring.
The Richard H. Driehaus Collection is one of the leading private collections of Tiffany Studios Art.
Billed as a celebration of beauty by the organisers the exhibition contains 60 works of Tiffany throughout his career. Sixteen exquisite lamps represent some of the most important and sought after of his illuminated works.
What is a Tiffany Lamp? – Louis Comfort Tiffany Facts
What is a Tiffany Lamp? – I discuss the Key Facts known about Louis Comfort Tiffany Facts.
I summarise who Louis Comfort Tiffany is, his relationship with nature and form, the difference between Tiffany Studios and Tiffany & Co
Authentic Tiffany Lamps are discussed including how are Tiffany Lamps made, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Favrile Glass and different styles of Tiffany Lamps.
I wrap up by discussing by contrast authentic Tiffany Lamps against one of the main manufactures of Tiffany Style Lamps.
What is a Tiffany Lamp?
I saw a Tiffany Lamp I liked in a local shop and it got me thinking about what is a Tiffany Lamp. I set out to learn more about these wonderful and colorful lighting fixtures.
A Tiffany Lamp is a distinct type of lamp made famous and by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his designers. The most commonly recognised style of light is the stained leaded glass lamp.
Louis Comfort Tiffany Facts
Louis Comfort Tiffany?
Louis Comfort Tiffany was the “name” behind Tiffany Lamps. In fact, so much so, the term “Tiffany Lamp” has become generic with this style of lamp. Modern re-productions or copies tend to be known as “Tiffany Style Lamps“.
Too many people in asking what the does the name Tiffany mean, it will invoke the art deco period, of which Tiffany was instrumental in promoting in America.
Born in New York to Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co, Louis Comfort Tiffany had a privileged upbringing. As a young adult he studied painting under George Innis and Samuel Colman before studying at the National Academy of Design.
Tiffany’s interest in art and design probably started before this however…
Louis Comfort Tiffany Inspiration
Tiffany Lamps were inspired by nature amongst the gardens of his country estates. Louis Comfort Tiffany carefully documented the forms and structure of flowers, vines and fauna, such as dragonfly’s and transferred them into his glasswork designs.
The Tiffany Studio in fact employed many female designers who worked semi-autonomously of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s direction. They received little recognition for their efforts until modern times.
Rutgers professor Martin Eidelburg identified in 2007 that Clara Driscoll was the master designer behind the most complex and important of the leaded glass Lamps produced by Tiffany Studios
Louis Comfort Tiffany’s designs were popularized during the Art Nouveau Movement that was popular both in Europe and the United States between 18910 and 1910.
Who owns Tiffany’s?
Tiffany & Company is a separate entity to The Tiffany Studio, trading since 1837, specialising in Jewellery. In a way Louis Comfort Tiffany’s legacy has been surpassed by his father as Tiffany Studios has long since been closed.
Charles Lewis Tiffany lamented in an account in The Brooklyn Eagle in 1888 that his son Louis Comfort Tiffany had “never developed any fondness or capacity for trade”
How are Tiffany Lamps made?
Authentic Lamps were handmade by the skilled craftspeople of the Tiffany Design Studio. The first lamp was made around 1895. The last lamps were made around 1930 when Tiffany Studios was closed.
The copper foil method was used to create a lamp. First a template would have been made with a sheet of cardboard. Each section of the pattern was given a number and color. The template was then traced onto the glass, and the glass cut to match. Around the edges of each piece the copper foil would be applied.
It is the copper foil that allows each colored glass piece to stick to each other. To finish and strengthen the joins the edges are soldered together.
Louis Comfort Tiffany Favrile Glass
Favrile was a term trademarked by Tiffany and was used to describe the production of the early lamps. The early lamps were more basic in form and utilized several types of glass to create leaded and blown shades. These do not have patterns as seen in later lamps.
How is Tiffany glass made?
Tiffany Lamps have been designed in for a wide range of lighting fixtures:
The most basic of the patterned lamps, the patterns tend to be in regular shapes such as squares or triangles. The lamps are made from poured glass rather than the blown method seen in the Favrile examples.
The more famous of the Geometric designs were made from large pieces of glass like the famous “turtleback tiles”. Other
less desired lamps were made with a larger number of smaller glass pieces.
Transition to flowers
The most intricate of Tiffany’s lamps are the later “Transition to Flowers” group.
These lamps play heavily on the forms of nature observed by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s lamps and feature designs using dragonflies, flowers, spiderwebs, butterflies, and peacock feathers
The latter lamps are further subdivided into the Flowered Cone and Globe lamps.
Tiffany’s cone shades heavily feature floral patterns. The shades themselves are essentially straight sided and the rims are circular. They brought in a cost saving, when compared to the earlier leaded shapes, as they are easier and cheaper to make. As a result there are many authentic examples of this type of light. Cone shades do belong to the geometric group but are defined by their design rather than their form. Better cone-shaped shades often feature the dragonfly, which Tiffany was particularly pleased with. Globe and “irregular” lower shaped shades more often feature the Dragonfly design, which is very sought after, commanding high prices in modern times.
These shades, wile flowered, are plainer. There construction is more complicated than cone shaped light shades. The key feature of a globe or dome design is that the shape helped the artists to “paint” a more realistic image of the floral and insect designs used. Ranging in size from twelve inches to twenty-eight inches in diameter, globe shades were the fixture of choice for large floor lamps.
Irregular lower border group
These shades take on a more naturalistic form, with flowing “serpentine” style rims. The uninterrupted metal rim of previous styles has been replaced with a curved linear lower border. These are almost always globe shaped. The exception to the rule are the panel shades that used the grape trellis design.
The natural tapering of leaves, fruit and fauna instil in the shades an Art Nouveau impression.
Irregular upper and lower borders group
Upper and lower borders represent the final phase of development of Tiffany Lamps.
An openwork crown usurps the artificial straight edge of the apertures, simulating tree branches or shrubbery.
All finials have been eliminated, meaning heat and light are diffused throughout the crown.
Who is Dale Tiffany?
Dale Tiffany Inc. is a company set up in 1979 that quickly became a specialist in reproducing authentic Tiffany leaded lamp designs. There is no other relationship to Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Dale became the first worldwide factory to standardize the production of stained glass.
Dale is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019.
What is a Dale Tiffany Lamp?
Dale Tiffany Inc. has developed a reputation for producing higher quality Tiffany Style Lamps. The lamps
are made utilizing the same copper foil technique as in the original leaded shades. This production method means that no two Dale lamps are exactly identical.
Who is Meyda Tiffany?
Meyda Tiffany is a family-run business established over 30 years ago. Initially a husband and wife team, they established themselves as one of America’s leading contemporary manufacturers of Tiffany lamps and decorative lighting