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The Life Of Loius Comfort Tiffany And Collecting Genuine Tiffany Lamps

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By : Gretta Thorogood   99 or more times read
Submitted 2008-12-15 19:33:40

Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American artist who lived from 1848 to 1933. He became well known for his work on stained glass which he used in many different settings including windows, enamels, metalwork, lamps and jewelry. He is usually associated with the Aesthetic and Art Noveau movement and was also a member of the prestigious Associated Artists along with other well known artists of the time including Samuel Colman, Lockwood De Forest and Candace Wheeler.

The Tiffany Company was founded by his father Charles Lewis Tiffany. Louis was initially interested in becoming a painter but developed an interest in glassmaking around 1875 and learned the techniques by working in glass making factories until 1878. In 1885 he founded the Tiffany Glass Company which became known as Tiffany Studios in 1902.

His first experiments with glassmaking used cheap jelly jars and bottles which contained impurities that he used to make unique designs. He tried to persuade fine glass makers to leave in the impurities so that he could produce his unique designs but he failed to persuade the, Instead he founded his own glassmaking company where he could produce glass to his own specifications. Previously, stained glass was made by painting on clear glass but he used opalescent glass in various colours and textures to make his own original designs.

In 1983 he founded the Stourbridge Glass Company and built his new factory to produce his stained glass. In 1893 he produced his first stained glass designs and exhibited lamps for the first time at the Chicago venue of the World's Fair that year.

In 1894 he trademarked the term Favrile, a word form the French meaning handmade which he applied to all his enamel, glass and pottery products. From 1895 his company produced stained glass, lamps and other interior decorations.

Today a comprehensive collection of Tiffany's work is housed in Florida at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Included are examples of Tiffany lead glass windows. lamps, paintings, pottery, jewelry and more. The interior of a chapel, designed for the World's Columbian Exposition which was held in Chicago in 1893, can also be seen there. Glass panels originally placed in the home of Louis, Laurelton Hall, are also exhibited at the museum.

The company founded by his father, the Tiffany Company, also sold his produced and in 1902, after the death of his father, he became the Artistic Director. His company Tiffany Studios ceased business in 1932.

Collecting Genuine Tiffany Lamps

One of the most popular collectible items produced by Tiffany Studios are stained glass lamps. They are beautiful examples of his work and genuine Tiffany lamps sell for a great deal of money nowadays. Tiffany began producing lamps in the 1980's and they were very popular until about 1920 when they went out of favor with the wealthier classes who considered them old fashioned. In the 1960's they came back into favor as Art Noveau movement increased in popularity. Christie's sold a genuine Tiffany lamp in 1997 for $2.8 million!

A genuine Tiffany lamp will sell for anywhere between $10,000 and hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on both the quality and the size. A Tiffany apple blossom lamp was sold for $136,000 and dragonfly lamp for $185,000.

Popular Tiffany lamps include the dragonfly, wisteria and peony designs which all sell for over a hundred thousand dollars. Lamps with other designs, geometric patters and flowers and vines are less popular but still command a hefty price at auction. There are, of course, many fakes as a signature is easily copied. To ensure you only buy a genuine Tiffany lamp always buy from a reputable auction establishment.

Author Resource:- For more information on Tiffany glass and stained glass lamps and some good deals on Meyda Tiffany lamps check out Best Meyda Tiffany Lamps and Chandeliers or Meyda Tiffany Lamps

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