PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is offering a free one-day seminar and appraisal on the lamps of Tiffany and other 20th century lighting, to be held March 21, in the firm’s gallery facility, located at 1485 South Housatonic Street in Pittsfield. Fontaine’s has been the scene of numerous auctions that featured rare and vintage lamps and lighting fixtures.
Guest speaker for the event will be Paul Crist of Paul Crist Studios, an expert in Tiffany lamps and the author of the book Mosaic Shades II. An informative seminar by Mr. Crist will begin promptly at 10 a.m., with a question and answer session to follow. Mr. Crist specializes in Tiffany examples and has over 30 years’ experience in mosaic shades (copper foiled and leaded).
Teaming with Mr. Crist will be John Fontaine of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, himself an expert in the field of lamps and vintage lighting and co-author of the book The Handel Lamps Book. Mr. Fontaine invites the public to bring their lamps to the seminar for a free evaluation and authentication. A certificate documenting a vintage lamp’s authenticity may also be purchased.
“If you have one piece or an entire collection, we are here for you,” said Mr. Fontaine. “We suggest calling ahead, to reserve a time slot in the morning or afternoon.” Mr. Fontaine added his firm will host a Spring Exceptional Antiques Auction on May 22, at which a session will be devoted entirely to fine lighting from estates and collections from around the country.
“We are offering a zero percent sellers’ commission on high-end lighting and antiques,” remarked Mr. Fontaine. “It will cost consignors nothing to sell their Tiffany and other high-end lighting at one of the top galleries for 20th century arts and lighting in the country.” Fontaine’s implemented the zero percent commission policy at the end of last year.
Paul Crist is a nationally renowned and leading expert in the lighting field by dealers and collectors alike. He is said to be the “last stop” for authenticating and lighting evaluation. Mr. Crist’s exhaustive research and documentation, spanning more than three decades, prompted him to produce the three-volume Mosaic Shades series, which is used as a learning tool by collectors.
His first publication, Mosaic Shade II, is packed with knowledge and photos of the many copper-foiled shade makers apart from Tiffany, to include Duffner & Kimberly, Chicago Mosaic, Wilkinson, John Morgan, Unique Glass Co. and more. Volume II serves a dual purpose: It is a handsome coffee table treasure, and it is a “go-to” reference for the ambitious researcher.
John Fontaine has been in the auctions and antiques business for 40 years, both as an auctioneer and ambitious researcher. His knowledge extends to renowned furniture makers like J.H. Belter, J. & J.W Meeks, R.J. Horner, Herter Brothers, Alexander Roux, Gustav Stickley, Charles Rohlfs and many others recognizable to collectors.
But Mr. Fontaine’s passion for lighting is uncharted. Over time, he has had the kind of hands-on experience that most can only dream about, and his driving ambition assisted him well in the preparation and writing of The Handel Lamps Book. Documenting and photographing the treasures of Philip Handel, he was able to produce a definitive reference work on Handel lamps.
Mr. Fontaine has embraced the world of 20th century lighting fully. Included in his repertoire is knowledge of other reverse painted lamp makers such as Moe Bridges, Pittsburgh, Jefferson and Pairpoint, as well as leaded/copper-foiled lamp makers like Tiffany, Duffner & Kimberly, Chicago Mosaic, Wilkinson, John Morgan, Unique Glass Company and many others.
Preceding the March 21 seminar event will be an Antique Discovery Estate Auction, slated for March 20, beginning at 10 a.m., also at the Fontaine’s gallery in Pittsfield.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is actively seeking quality consignments for its spring and summer auctions. The firm also buys antiques and entire estates outright. For more information, or to consign an item, estate or collection, you may call 413-448-8922, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.fontainesauction.net.
Photos courtesy Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.
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