Noname Antiques » Antique Tiffany Lamp Value (Identification & Price Guides)

Antique Tiffany Lamp Value (Identification & Price Guides)

Even though Tiffany lamps are approximately a century old, they are still trendy and collectible. Unfortunately, it is hard to find an original antique Tiffany lamp created in Tiffany Studios until 1928. Since original pieces cost tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, a better option is to look for available Tiffany-style lamps.

Nowadays, modern artisans try to discover the secret of ultimate Tiffany craftsmanship, but it can be challenging. Tiffany gathered the best craftsmen, artists, glassblowers, and inventors of that time and used only the highest-quality glass and bronze for lamp bases. It is hard to repeat such an endeavor today.

Tiffany Studios History

Tiffany Studios History
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Louis Comfort Tiffany was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co. Jewelry. He started experimenting with art glass in the early 1880s and established the decorative arts company Tiffany Glass Co. in 1885 in New York.

Finally, Tiffany Studios was established in 1900 with over three hundred workers, including:

  • Designers
  • Craftsmen
  • Glassblowers
  • Artists
  • Artisans
  • Inventors

His inspiration was antique glassware he saw in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum twenty years before. The company produced numerous decorative and luxury items, like:

The company created a unique blown Favrile glass in 1893, and it became their signature construction. Two years later, Tiffany Studios started producing hand-made stained-glass lamps that have become highly collectible over time.

The first Tiffany’s commercially produced lamps appeared on the market in 1898. Clara Driscoll‘s design and mosaics were a winning combination that positioned these lamps at the very top of the market. You can find models:

  • Adorned with poppies, lilies, peonies, and daffodils
  • With geometric motifs
  • In the Art Nouveau style
  • Inspired by the Middle East culture, particularly Persian glass design
  • Following Gothic movement

All things considered, numerous designers made the Tiffany lamp shades iconic by establishing lighting design entirely unmatched. After finding a way to attach stained glass without thick lead rods, Louis started creating motte delicate stained-glass lamp designs.

Since Tiffany wanted to support young artists, he founded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation at Laurelton Hall in 1919. The company was in business until 1928, five years before Louis died in 1933.

 

Ways to Identify a Real Tiffany Lamp

Tiffany lamp shade designs

  • Geometric shapes
  • Globe
  • Tree branches
  • Floral patterns
  • Dragonflies
  • Bamboo designs
  • Cone
  • Vines
  • Wisteria
  • Shapes of leaded glass shades
  • Renaissance designs
  • Medieval motifs
  • Zodiacal symbols

Popular Tiffany lamp motifs

  • Tiffany butterfly lamp
  • Tiffany dragonfly lamp
  • Tiffany peacock lamp
  • Tiffany turtle lamp
  • Tiffany daffodil lamp
  • Tiffany poppy lamp
  • Tiffany Greek key lamp
  • Tiffany nautilus lamp
  • Tiffany wisteria lamp

Tiffany lamp categories

Favrile glass lamps

Favrile glass lamps

Geometric glass shades

Geometric glass shades

Floral design shades

Floral design shades

Cone-shaped shades

Cone-shaped shades

Globe-shaped shades

Globe-shaped shades

Irregular lower border shades

Irregular lower border shades

Irregular upper and lower border shades

Irregular upper and lower border shades

Tiffany lamp styles

Tiffany lamps come in six basic styles and are considered art pieces nowadays:

  • Table lamp
  • Floor lamp
  • Desk lamp
  • Chandelier
  • Hanging shade
  • Wall sconce

 

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Antique Tiffany Lamps Value

Most Tiffany Studios lamps are precious and collectible. Therefore, collectors with unlimited budgets are prepared to pay high sums for one piece.

Many people set aside thousands of dollars for Tiffany lamp reproductions, but collectors prefer the real thing. The question is, what makes Tiffany Studios lamps valuable. Let’s see.

Tiffany lamp styles

Tiffany floor lamps

Tiffany’s floor lamps are large and typically come with upwards flute-shaped shades. Such a position allows sending the light outwards and lighting much of the room.

Popular Tiffany floor lamps

Year Lamp type Estimated value Price
2017 Hanging head dragonfly floor lamp $300,000 to $500,000 $550,000
2004 Favrile glass poinsettia floor lamp $150,000 to $200,000 $317,500
2000 Turtleback tile floor lamp $18,000 to $24,000 $25,850
2012 Leaded daffodil floor lamp $1,000 to $1,500 $13,800
Hanging head dragonfly floor lamp
Hanging head dragonfly floor lamp
Favrile glass poinsettia floor lamp
Favrile glass poinsettia floor lamp
Turtleback tile floor lamp
Turtleback tile floor lamp
Leaded daffodil floor lamp
Leaded daffodil floor lamp

Most can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars at auctions. For instance, one collector recently paid a Tiffany floor lamp an impressive $700,000.

Tiffany table lamps

Tiffany table lamps perfectly fit the desk and table tops. Thanks to their specific design, they provide an incredible feeling of luxury in the room where they are located.

Popular Tiffany table lamps

Year Lamp type Estimated value Price
2012 Wisteria table lamp $500,000 to $700,000 $506,500
2015 Peacock table lamp $300,000 to $500,000 $370,000
2017 Dragonfly table lamp $25,000 to $35,000 $51,425
2012 Table lamp with Greek key $14,000 to $19,000 $15,000
Wisteria table lamp
Wisteria table lamp
Peacock table lamp
Peacock table lamp
Dragonfly table lamp
Dragonfly table lamp
Table lamp with Greek key
Table lamp with Greek key

Given how beautiful and high quality these pieces are, you shouldn’t be surprised when hearing about incredible prices collectors are prepared to set aside for one. Most reach hundreds of thousands and sometimes several million dollars.

Tiffany desk lamps

Popular Tiffany desk lamps

Year Lamp type Estimated value Price
2003 Favrile glass desk lamp $10,000 to $15,000 $14,000
2014 Favrile glass three-light desk lamp $2,000 to $4,000 $8,125
2016 Nautilus desk lamp $8,000 to $12,000 $7,702
2008 Bronze counter-balance desk lamp $4,500 to $6,500 $4,000
2017 Bronze lily three-light desk lamp $800 to $1,200 $3,200
Favrile glass desk lamp
Favrile glass desk lamp
Favrile glass three-light desk lamp
Favrile glass three-light desk lamp
Nautilus desk lamp
Nautilus desk lamp
Bronze counter-balance desk lamp
Bronze counter-balance desk lamp
Bronze lily three-light desk lamp
Bronze lily three-light desk lamp

At one of the Christie’s auctions in 2018, a collector paid $3,372,500 for one rare beautiful Tiffany Studios lamp, reaching the highest price ever.

Tiffany hanging lamps and chandeliers

You can find Tiffany hanging lamps and chandeliers in downward- and upward-facing styles. The company often created pieces to match floor and table set motifs. Most antique pieces are expensive, but you can find modern reproductions for only $200 to $300.

Popular Tiffany hanging lamps

Year Lamp type Estimated value Price
2017 Poppy chandelier $200,000 to $300,000 $500,000
2017 Dragonfly chandelier $100,000 to $150,000 $228,100
2017 Daffodil hanging chandelier $35,000 to $55,000 $51,750
2012 Favrile glass turtle back hanging shade $8,000 to $12,000 $18,750
2014 Three-arm chandelier $10,000 to $15,000 $10,497
2014 Favrile glass turtle back tile ceiling lamp $8,000 to $12,000 $8,750
Poppy chandelier
Poppy chandelier
Dragonfly chandelier
Dragonfly chandelier
Daffodil hanging chandelier
Daffodil hanging chandelier
Favrile glass turtle back hanging shade
Favrile glass turtle back hanging shade
Three-arm chandelier
Three-arm chandelier
Favrile glass turtle back tile ceiling lamp
Favrile glass turtle back tile ceiling lamp

Antique Tiffany Lamp Craftmanship

Tiffany Studios often used brand-new methods to make unique lamps. Besides inventing favrile glass, they developed the technique of attaching stained glass with a copper foil. Although almost a hundred years have passed since the company’s closure, no one has yet managed to produce such quality pieces.

Antique Tiffany Lamp Condition

You shouldn’t look for perfection when buying an antique Tiffany lamp, but the condition is crucial for determining the price. However, most collectors will accept and pay for a piece with a fallen shade and a few cracks or missing tiny glass pieces.

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Antique Tiffany Lamp Restoration work

It can be challenging to find signs of restoration, particularly when it was done well. However, older repairs were not seamless, and you will be able to find traces. Professionally finished repairs rarely affect the lamp’s value much, but it is better to have a piece with as many original parts as possible. 

Antique Tiffany Lamp High-quality material

The company policy was to use only high-quality materials. Their lamps had hand-made shades and bases made of pure bronze. Such a glass provided unique coloring that was very difficult to achieve.

Antique Tiffany Lamp Rarity

The rarest lamps are always the most pricey. Since you can’t find too many Tiffany Studios lamps on the market, you can expect high prices once a piece appears at auction.

 

Ways to Determine Original Tiffany Studios Lamps

It is typically easy to determine Tiffany lamps after unique design, but you should check a few things to avoid fake pieces.

Origins

Louis Comfort Tiffany was a designer and artist who decided to establish a company for producing decorative items. His most famous product was the beautiful lamps he created for almost four decades.

Since owners rarely decide to sell their lamps, most originate from only one owner. In such a case, the lamp is typically authentic. When you want to buy one at an auction, you should ask about its origins since most have a rich history.

Motif

All Tiffany lamps had a unique motif and sometimes custom design. Their signature motifs included:

Favrile glass – First Tiffany Studios lamps were made of blown glass. The unique favrile glass technique resulted in beautifully pigmented glass shade with unique iridescence.

Flora – Floral motif was a typical Tiffany Studios lamp characteristic. The company used glass for shades that produced gorgeous flower colors and unique textures. You can often find the lamp base that matches the central shade motif.

Fauna – Animals are relatively common Tiffany lamp motifs, including butterflies, dragonflies, and spiders. Sometimes, artisans added peacock feathers to complete a scene. Interestingly, dragonflies’ wings typically came away from the shade, creating a specific three-dimensional appearance.

Geometric – Some geometric forms were often an inspiration for artisans, who enjoyed creating the intricate rectangle and square patterns.

Linenfold – This characteristic shade motif resembles geometric patterns but with larger panels.

Material quality

All Tiffany Studios lamps were entirely hand-made of the highest-quality materials possible. If the piece you want to buy is improperly attached and looks cheaply, it is probably a reproduction.

Confetti glass

Tiffany Studios used various glass techniques while creating lamps, including confetti glass. Such designed models had inserted tiny colored glass specks to get a confetti look on the shade surface.

Base with a lead ring

Each original lamp this company produced comes with a hollow base made of pure bronze. Only several pieces feature art pottery bases, making them rare.

Bronze was expensive material at those times, and artisans had a problem creating the base. The solution was to add an extra, heavy ring made of lead.

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Only that way, the base could carry heavy stained-glass shade without the possibility of falling over. Lamps without that ring are Tiffany-style pieces, not the real thing.

The patina on the base

Since bronze develops a patina over time due to oxidation, you can expect to see a slightly greenish or brownish hue on original Tiffany Studios lamps’ bases.

Be aware that it is possible to mimic the bronze patina look, so it should never be the only indication of a lamp’s authenticity.

Golden glass pieces color

Tiffany Studios glass often comes in rich colors and textures, and the gold-colored glass is particularly unique. It features an amber coloring and slightly translucent shine. If you spot traces of green or silver, the lamp is almost certainly a fake.

Glass color

Authentic Tiffany lamps were made of colored glass, while reproductions come with added paint. The best way to check the glass color authenticity is to gently rub it with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover. Nothing will happen if the lamp is original. If you notice color traces, such a piece is a reproduction.

Loose glass

Since Tiffany Studios stopped producing lamps almost a century ago, you can expect to find loose parts because of their age. Therefore, you will hear barely noticeable glass shaking after gently tapping the shade.

It will be impossible to feel the same when tapping the reproductions since they are well attached.

Components

Genuine Tiffany lamps always contain necessary components like turn-on and turn-off paddle knobs. Only a few models came with a switch on the base or a pull chain. Remember that the oldest models were oil lamps.

Marks and signatures

Tiffany changed marks and signature style several times during the production period, and you should look for them at various places. Keep in mind that original lamps have stamps with all capital letters.

Sometimes, you can find a serial number and lamps featuring the maker’s mark with the company name – Tiffany Studios New York. Be careful with pieces containing the off-center or tilted logo and the letters of different sizes. Such lamps are probably fake.

Guarantee

Reputable dealers and private owners who have authentic Tiffany Studios lamps will always provide a guarantee to confirm their origin. Therefore, you should be careful if the seller refuses to provide appropriate paper.

 

Where To Buy Antique Tiffany Lamps

There are only a few places to find precious antique Tiffany lamps, but your best shot is online auction websites. Other options include:

  • Online classifieds websites
  • Antique lamp shows
  • Local antique stores
  • Auction houses
  • Reputable dealers

 

Summary

Tiffany lamps are timeless hand-made pieces of art. Numerous artisans and craftsmen used intricate designs to create astonishing stained glass models.

Louis Comfort Tiffany preferred using dozens of expertly cut pieces of stained glass for shades and wooden or bronze for lamp bases. If you can afford one, you will get an astonishing and functional piece of furniture to beautify your home.

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