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.
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.
Why buy a Tiffany Style Lamp?
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.
Manufacturers of Tiffany Style Lamps
Popular manufacturers of Tiffany Style Lamps include Dale Tiffany, Meyda Tiffany and Paul Sahlin Tiffany’s.
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.