Tiffany Lamps

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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It's no exaggeration to say that Tiffany lamps are an especially distinctive design touch and artistic addition to almost any home. Louis Comfort Tiffany, the creator of the original lamps, was something of an artist himself and chose not to follow in his father's footsteps or jewelry firm. Only in the late 1880s did he shift from art to interior design. But it was an early movie theater and a conversation with Thomas Edison that he first conceived the multicolored glass lamps we so admire today.

As an interior design style, Tiffany art went out of fashion during the 1930s and 1940s, because the complexity and rich colors of the cut glass was considered too ornate. It slipped back in to fashion, however, during the 1950s and 1960s. Buying an original, of course, is beyond the reach of most of us, even when they do become available. Two genuine Tiffanys, for example, sold at auction in 1998 for about $2 million each.

Shopping for Museum-Approved Reproduction Tiffany Lamps

The variety of Tiffany-style lamps on the market today is as wide as it was in the Tiffany heyday of the 1920s. There are seven rough groupings of style as far as the cut glass shapes themselves are concerned, with some lamp styles featuring irregular upper and/or lower borders, and some not. As you study individual Tiffany, you'll notice combinations of standard geometric shapes, insects (especially dragonfly), and flowers.

Quality reproduction Tiffany lamps will be manufactured using the original Tiffany techniques. Ideally they'll also be given a seal of approval by a reputable museum. But no matter where you buy, or what style--overhead, table top, or floor lamp--your lamp will add a wonderful element of distinction to your home. You'll enjoy the fine craftsmanship, design, and timelessness for years to come!

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