These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
Can you please tell me more about this lamp?
Absolutely! This was made around 1910 by Tiffany Studios, a glassworks that Louis Comfort Tiffany opened in Queens. He employed several women known as "Tiffany girls" who would make designs, select the color palettes and cut the glass.
This is a great example of the art nouveau style in America. You can see the designer was looking to nature for inspiration for both the patterns in the glass, as well as those in the bronze base.
Is this by Tiffany?
Yes! Are you familiar with Tiffany glass? Louis Comfort Tiffany combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, which valued hand-made objects, with the emphasis on beauty that was central to the Aesthetic Movement. Although Tiffany and his studios used patterns to make lampshades, each one was unique due to the selection of the individual pieces of glass.
I have seen a lot of these in Brussels, Belgium. Were these produced in the US?
Yes! They were produced in Queens. Tiffany displayed his lamps at international expositions, including one held in Paris in 1900. It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Any idea what this Tiffany lamp might have cost in its day?
This lamp is dated to about 1910. I'm not sure, but it may have cost up to a few hundred dollars at that time, which would be the equivalent of a few thousand dollars today. Currently, however, the prices of Tiffany Lamps are entirely dictated by the auction market.Electricity was also a cost to consider: in 1910 it was about 15 to 20 cents per kilowatt hour, at a time when the average american made around 400$ per year (or 22 cents per hour at work)!
This is such a beautiful lamp!
I agree! This lamp and the others surrounding it are over 100 years old and were made here in New York by Tiffany Studios. They were all constructed by hand from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike!