In my previous life, before writing, one of my side businesses was antiques. I had partners but my favorite and kinda specialty was glass of any type. I absolutely love glass antiques, so when I came across an article about Tiffany and Handel lamps, I knew it would be the subject of today’s blog.
The first Tiffany lamps with domed shaped stained-glass shades were made in 1895. They became very popular and very expenses. In December of 1980 Christie sold the “Pond Lily” created in 1903 for over Three Million Dollars.
Because of their popularity, other lamp and glass companies adapted the idea of how the Tiffany lamps were made and began producing less expensive reverse-painted glass shades colored glass and metal-trimmed shades and copies of the originals. None are as expensive as the original Tiffany lamps today, but some of the wider produced are considered important and sell for thousands of dollars.
One of the first to produce less expensive replicas was Phillip Julius Handel who made lamps in Meriden, Connecticut, from 1893 to 1933, and his reverse-pained shade lamps are now selling for upwards to $8,000.00. Almost all of his lamps are signed on the inside of the shade and on the metal lamp base. Its worth is determined by the design on the shade and the shape of the bronze base. Recently, a Pennsylvania auction house sold a signed Handel “Elephantine Island” table lamp with a bronze base held by three winged griffins (shown to the left). The shade is a painting of the ancient Egyptian ruins on Elephantine, a small island on the Nile. The lamp sold for over Five Thousand Dollars.
I don’t have any Tiffany lamps but love vases and other glassware and have lots of it. My business partners where great to me because I’d buy something and then my heart wouldn’t allow me to put it on display for sale, so it’d come home with me. Every time I go near a garage sale, I slow down but turn my head the other way as a reminder that I have way too much antique glass now. So far it’s working!
Now I ask you, do you have a favorite item you collect? Do you have anything special that has been handed down for generations that you want to share with us?
To two readers who leaves a comment, I will give them
an eCopy of Out of a Texas Night.