“One movement toward light becomes a clear signpost on a long road.”
- Mary Anne Radmacher
As beautiful and powerful as pure light is, some of the most stunning experiences of lighting are framed by glass, metal, and ceramic, in the form of lamps.
History reveals examples of lamps appearing in archaeological evidence as far back as 70,000 B.C. However, it wasn’t until Sir Humphrey Davey created the first electric carbon arc lamp in 1801 and Thomas Edison invented the electric incandescent lamp in the 1870s that the structure of modern lamps became a reality.
Lamp Makers Fuse Use With Style
Over the years many notable names have produced lamps that not only shed light but do so in a classically beautiful way. During Heritage Auctions’ May 16 auction, a number of lamps will be presented for sale. Below are six examples from six different makers.
This uniquely sculpted bronze boudoir lamp titled “Iris" dates back to 1900, and is made by Tiffany Studios. The world was a different place when this lamp was created, but the beauty of fine lighting is timeless. This leaded-glass lamp measures 17-¾ inches and carries an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000 into the sale.
The shade of this painted Handel lamp illustrates why it is called “Evening Landscape.” The hexagonal reverse painted lamp dates to 1915 and measures 22 ½ h. X 15 ¼ d. It carries an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000 into the sale.
Elegant and Enlightening
Two popular materials in fine lamp making include leaded glass and bronze, and this counterbalance floor lamp, circa 1910, features both in a stunning manner. It measures 56 ¾ inches high and carries an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000 into the auction. The base of the lamp is from Tiffany Studios, while the shade is not.
Reverse painted glass lamps were popular in the early 20th century, as exemplified by this Classique “Tropical Night” table lamp. The piece was created in 1910. It measures 25 ¼ inches high x 18 ¼ inches diameter. It comes to the sale with an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.
Casting a Subtle Light
A familiar name in lamp making is Pairpoint and this reverse painted glass ‘Puffy’ boudoir lamp, circa 1910, measuring 14 1/2 inches high by 8 ⅝ inches in diameter, is a fine example. It has an estimate of $800 to $1,200.
The evolution of lamps is also evident in this 1930s boudoir lamp from Schneider Le Verre Francais mottled glass and iron lamp. It measures 13 ⅛ inches high and carries an estimate of $500 to $700.
View more examples of lighting, as well as art glass, in Heritage Auctions’ May 16 auction: www.ha.com.