For over a century the Tiffany lamp has been a key feature in home d cor and Louis Comfort Tiffany could never have imagined that the Tiffany lamp would become his most famous and enduring contribution to art and home d cor. Born the son of a famous New York jeweler in 1848, Tiffany was a major creative influence in the Art Nouveau movement. Today there are three basic types of Tiffany lamps: Tiffany originals, Tiffany lamp reproductions, and lamps or fixtures made in the Tiffany style. Whether you hope to someday own an original Tiffany lamp, purchasing an antique reproduction or would be just as happy with a Tiffany inspired lamp, it is important to know the difference.
What s In A Name?
The only original tiffany lamps were created by Tiffany Studios in New York City by Tiffany and his group of artisans. Today original Tiffany lamps are found only in museums and individual collections. A Tiffany lamp sold for over two million dollars at Christies Auction House in 1997.
Almost all “Tiffany” Lamps and fixtures that you might see are not real Tiffany but actually reproductions and you have to keep in mind that you are purchasing a Tiffany inspired lamp that reproduces the original designs, or new designs that are Tiffany inspired but not the real thing. Today when we hear the term Tiffany, it most often applies to the style and not an actual Tiffany piece. An authentic Tiffany lamp reproduction will use the same pattern and color scheme as the original.
Many companies that work under the Tiffany name are creating exacting reproductions of the original Tiffany designs, even down to including a signature and this confuses many consumers into thinking they are getting the real thing.
A Tiffany style lamp, on the other hand is a blanket term often used to describe anything with a stained glass shade. While there are the producers of quality lamps crafted in the Louis Tiffany tradition, cheap imitation Tiffany style lamps can have loose fitting glass pieces or may not be glass at all but a stained glass like plastic shade.
Most of us may not be able to afford an authentic Tiffany lamp, but whether you are looking for the real thing or just appreciate the beautiful style there is almost certainly something to fit your budget, making it easy to have your own bit of Tiffany.