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Why we love Tiffany Lamps, stained glass lamps and tiffany style lighting

Last Updated on December 13, 2018 by Paul West | 0 comments

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Tiffany Lamps

Tiffany lamps feature stained glass pieces arranged in a decorative design. The tiffany glass pieces are soldered together with copper foil, forming a tiffany lamp shade. The most common use of "tiffany style" is in lamp shades on a tiffany table lamp or tiffany floor lamp, but they can also be used in the body of the lamp and in other light fixtures.

When the light is switched on, light radiates through the tiffany glass shade and illuminates the stained glass pieces. The lit glass is magnificent and very attractive and brings the tiffany lamp to life.

Tiffany style lamps are widely available in both modern geometric and traditional themes. Tiffany lamps have a long history and authentic tiffany lamps designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany have been known to be highly valuable at auction.

The History of Louis Comfort Tiffany

louis comfort tiffany lamp

Louis Comfort Tiffany, the originator of Tiffany style glass, lived in the period of 1984 to 1933 and was an American artist famously known for this work with stained glass. He is associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements. He designed stained glass windows and lamps, blown glass, mosaics, ceramics, metalwork and jewelry. He also became the first Design Director at his company "Tiffany & Co", founded by his father Charles Lewis Tiffany.

louis comfort tiffanyTiffany founded a company focused on creating art with glass, around 1885, which later became known as Tiffany Studios. He is famous for producing beautiful stained glass windows in churches and other locations including The White House, and establishing a long line of glass-making expertise in the form of tiffany lamps and other items.

Today, various other companies have adopted the use of stained glass in lamps, tiffany lighting and other decorative items, using safer and more modern materials such as toughened glass. These include Dale Tiffany and Meyda Tiffany, who feature a wide selection of tiffany lamps for sale ranging from floor lamps to table lamps, accent lamps and light fixtures.

How Tiffany Lamps are made

In constructing a tiffany lamp, sheets of glass, art glass and other materials are first manufactured or acquired and are then turned into small shaped pieces. While the aim is to match the coloring and textures of the design, to allow consistent reproduction, every tiffany lamp is unique due to the natural variations in the raw materials. This is part of what makes every tiffany lamp unique.

creating a tiffany lampThe glass pieces are then arranged into a design and shape according to the kind of lamp or shade being made. Each piece is held together by soldering with liquid metal (copper foil or similar), forming a rigid metallic structure which houses the pieces of glass and holds them in place. This allows for any piece or shape of glass to be used in combination to produce a beautiful tiffany style design.

Once the stained glass pieces have been assembled this way, the tiffany lamp shade is cleaned and may have other coatings applied to help preserve its quality over time and to bring out the coloration. Finally, hardware attachments are added to allow it to be fixed to a lamp base or as part of a light fixture. In classic tiffany lamps, this may include a sculpted bronze base.

As well as stained glass or toughened art glass, tiffany lamps may also include beads, ornaments, molded shapes and other pieces as part of the overall design. The individual pieces can be very small or individually quite large, but the hallmark of a tiffany lamp is its use of multiple pieces of colored glass to create an overall pattern or design.

Tiffany Stained Glass

stained glass tiffany pieces

Stained glass can and has been used for centuries in various ways, especially in the stained glass windows of churches and cathedrals. A similar technique is used to produced stained glass for tiffany lamps.

making stained glassPieces of tiffany glass are first laid out and a design is drawn upon them which is then scored into the glass. The glass then is broken along the edges of the design to form glass pieces.

The tiffany glass itself may be manufactured with the inclusion of dyes, pigments or other coloring materials, so that individual glass pieces can be easily assembled to produce a colorful tiffany style design. While the glass is infused with color, it may also be given texture or other patterns, bubbles of air or uneven surfaces, in order to produce added textures and color variations.

Often in a modern tiffany lamp, a form of art glass or toughened glass is used, which is lighter in weight than traditional glass and is harder to break, ensuring the tiffany lamp will last longer without damage.

Tiffany Table Lamps

tiffany table lamps

The classic tiffany lamp and still the most popular use of tiffany today, is the tiffany table lamp. Tiffany table lamps feature a lamp base with a light socket and a switch, upon which a tiffany style lamp shade sits.

The shade fulfills the purpose of shielding your eyes from the harsh light of the bulb, while also allowing the light to illuminate the tiffany shade and provide the beautiful display of color that tiffany table lamps are known for.

 

tiffany style table lamps

Traditional tiffany table lamps feature often a sculpted bronze base, heavy and metal based in order to safely support and stabilize the weight of the glass shade. Sometimes in more elaborate tiffany style table lamps, the base itself would be constructed from tiffany glass pieces and perhaps be lit by a second light bulb located inside. In some cases, this lighted lamp base can be used as a night light.

Tiffany table lamps are an absolutely gorgeous addition to any room particularly in a living room or family room, or perhaps in a bedroom. Since there are tiffany lamps for sale in a variety of colors, shapes and patterns, it is not difficult to match them to your decor and to inject a show-piece into the room.

 

tiffany stained glass lamp

Visitors will always remark about your beautiful lamps and often tiffany lamps become family heirlooms. A pair of tiffany table lamps situated either side of a couch or in corners of a room not only provide additional lighting and warmth to the room, but also lend it distinctive decoration. Every time you switch the light on, your heart will be warmed by the attractive tiffany glass and beautiful colors.

Tiffany Floor Lamps

tiffany floor lamp

A perfect twin for tiffany table lamps are tiffany floor lamps. These larger standing tiffany lamps stand on the floor with a long pole. At the top, one or more light bulb sockets host light sources while a typically larger tiffany shade shields your eyes from direct glare.

Since a floor lamp is taller and stands typically between shoulder height or higher, light from the shade is usually cast downwards making it suitable for positioning over a chair. The tiffany floor lamp will provide brighter light than from a table lamp.

 

tiffany lamp

The lampshade of the tiffany floor lamp will be even more spectacular than that of the table lamp, because it is generally larger and therefore more impressive. Colored pieces of glass will radiate decorative light throughout the room when switched on and is a joy to behold.

 

tiffany style floor lampsPosition a tiffany floor lamp in the corner of a room or next to a seating area. Bear in mind the shape of the lamp shade which strongly influences the shape of light that emits from the lamp, although most floor lamps typically shine most of their light downwards and out to the sides. Sometimes if the top of the shade is more open, it will also shine light upwards onto the ceiling, where it reflects off as colorful ambient light.

A variation on the tiffany floor lamp is the tiffany style torchiere lamp, whereby the shade is inverted and aims most of its light upwards towards the ceiling. These are particularly suited to producing ambient reflected light and also emit light outwards through the sides of the shade, but are less appropriate for receiving more direct light aimed downwards. A good place to position them is in the corner of a room or to light a general area.

tiffany style desk lamp

Tiffany Desk Lamps

A tiffany desk lamp offers the beautiful design of tiffany glass in a compact and adjustable lamp style. Tiffany desk lamps are similar to table lamps but usually can be re-positioned easily to aim light over a desk or to shine light onto some paperwork.

These also include tiffany style banker's lamps, similar to the lamps bankers would use to highlight their paperwork and financial matters.

Tiffany Accent Lamps

Tiffany lamps also come in the form of small tiffany lamps, or often referred to as tiffany accent lamps. These small tiffany lamps may still be in a similar form to a tiffany table lamp, or it may dispense with the typical lamp base and opt for a more compact, custom design.

tiffany accent lamps

A tiffany accent lamp often uses solely tiffany glass pieces to construct the entire lamp itself, perhaps with a very small base on which it stands. As such, small tiffany lamps are often found in the shape of various objects or creatures, including animals and fish and birds, turtles and butterflies and various other things, even snow-men and snow-women!

These miniature tiffany lamps make excellent art pieces in a room to add a touch of art and color. They are not usually bright enough to make a major contribution to the light in the room, but can be used as an accent, as a soft mood-setting light, as a night light or just for fun.

Tiffany Lighting

tiffany lighting

Light fixtures usually feature one or more light bulbs arranged in a certain way, and in most cases some kind of shade or shades which conceal the bulbs to a degree. The shades don't necessarily have to obscure the light, and in the case of tiffany lighting they may be used to enhance the character and design of the fixture itself.

These may include tiffany chandeliers, tiffany pendant lights, close-to-ceiling tiffany lights, tiffany outdoor lights and beautiful tiffany wall lights.

 

tiffany chandeliers

Tiffany chandeliers are magnificent centerpieces featuring multiple lights and beautiful tiffany stained glass. When the chandelier is switched on, the room is filled with beautiful color.

 

tiffany pendants

Tiffany pendant lights are similar to chandeliers and may feature up to 3 or more bulbs, but typically arranged in a central position with a single shade covering them. This shade can be quite large and produce a beautiful tiffany centerpiece, or used in unison with additional light fixtures. Tiffany style hanging lamps are a versatile light fixture for many rooms.

 

tiffany island light

Tiffany island lights or billiard/pool table lights are similar to pendants and chandeliers but arrange their lights in a row, so that a longer island or table can be well lit at all ends.

 

tiffany flush lightTiffany flush mount lights sit close to or flush against the ceiling, similar to a dome light. Their attractive shade is more or less the entire light fixture, but some may also feature and ornate body connecting the tiffany shade to the ceiling.

A flush mounted light fixture is good for any smaller room, a kitchen or hallway or perhaps a restroom. They take up little space especially if the ceiling is low, and can provide reasonably strong light for a room.

 

tiffany outdoor lightingTiffany outdoor lights are hard to find, but are available from some suppliers. These outdoor post lights and wall lanterns feature tiffany stained glass shades and add an extra magical touch to your home's exterior, especially at night.

The tiffany glass pieces are attractive both indoors and out, and the tiffany coloration allows the outdoor tiffany light to be more than having just plain white, frosted or clear glass. Bear in mind a tiffany outdoor light may output less light overall due to the semi-transparent nature of the glass, so there is a tradeoff between being decorative and being functional.

 

tiffany wall lights

Tiffany wall lights include wall sconces, swing-arm wall lamps and bathroom vanity lights. These wall-mounted tiffany lights instantly add appeal to the walls in a room as well as offering ambient lighting support or, in the case of a tiffany bath light, a practically useful light fixture which also looks amazing.

Tiffany Windows

tiffany windowsPaying homage to the original stained glass tiffany windows and the beautiful centuries-old stained glass windows found in churches and cathedrals, tiffany art pieces are available in the form of "tiffany windows", which are stained glass masterpieces you can hang in front of an actual window.

The light from the sun is able to shine through the stained glass, illuminating it, and this provides a beautiful window decoration. An excellent choice for a kitchen or dining room or perhaps as a way to put the finishing touches to a restroom.

Some smaller tiffany glass windows are also available in a tabletop-mounted design, where a small base allows the tiffany window to stand upright. These might in some cases be accompanied by a small lamp behind it which allows the window to glow its beautiful colors.

Dale Tiffany

 dale tiffany table lamp

Dale Tiffany company was the world's first standardized manufacturer of stained glass and fine art glass lighting. They shifted to focus more heavily on lamps and glass ornaments and now offer numerous fantastic designs.

You can shop for Dale Tiffany table lamps online and choose from a wide variety of decorative tiffany pieces. Dale tiffany floor lamps are also available. With their emphasis on beautiful glass sculptures, they also produce numerous blown glass and art glass pieces such as vases and sculptural ornaments. 

Meyda Tiffany

meyda tiffany light fixture

Meyda Tiffany is another very large manufacturer of tiffany lamps, light fixtures and other items. While their focus is not entirely on tiffany, Meyda Tiffany has its roots in tiffany glass lamps and lighting. Meyda tiffany table lamps and floor lamps add magnificence to any room.

Featuring a large selection of tiffany table lamps, tiffany floor lamps, and tiffany light fixtures, Meyda now offers hundreds if not thousands of decorative lighting options for the tiffany enthusiast.

Popular Tiffany Styles

tiffany dragonfly lamp

A large majority of tiffany lamps feature ornate designs which often reflect elements of nature, flowers, animals and other creatures. One of the most popular themes in tiffany lamps is the dragonfly tiffany lamp. These lamps feature dragonflies whose wings feature many many small pieces of glass, usually arranged around the perimeter of the shade.

 

flower tiffany lighting

Another popular theme in tiffany lamps is flowers. Various leaves and petals and floral shapes designed to give a natural, earthy feel to complement the natural nuances and uniqueness of each piece of glass.

 

geometric tiffany style lamp

Not all tiffany lamps necessarily follow this pattern and it's certainly possible to find lamps with depictions of buildings, vehicles and other items. But also modern tiffany style lighting has shifting some focus towards geometric patterns and shapes. These colorful orderly designers feature angular shapes, balanced patterns and mirror image arrangements. They tend to convey a more modern tiffany feel than the more curved shapes of classic tiffany lamps.

 

tiffany pendants

Since every tiffany lamp has to be hand crafted, as each one is uniquely formed from many pieces of glass, this lends itself to various custom designs. The combination of small glass units and metal framework allows tiffany designs to take on shapes and symbols that would be difficult to produce with fabric or other materials. As such you'll find for example tiffany billiard pool table lights that feature imagery of billiard balls or playing cards, beyond just depictions of wildlife.

 

tiffany lighting

How to Clean a Tiffany Glass Lamp

Since tiffany lamps feature many pieces of delicate glass, housed in a rigid but carefully positioned framework, it's important to clean them with care. Here's some tips for how to safely clean your tiffany lamp or light fixture.

  1. When tiffany lights are shipped, they often have a thin protective sealer coating the glass which can be wiped off with a clean cloth when you receive it.
  2. To clean the lamp in future, use a slightly damp, soft cloth and clean the parts of the lamp gently. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and try to support the glass from behind while you clean each piece so as not to put stress on the overall framework.
  3. To reseal the tiffany glass, wipe it down once a year with a good quality Lemon Oil. The copper foil/solder will be sealed and this will help prevent the glass from becoming dusty.
  4. The beading that connects the glass pieces in Tiffany style lamps is copper foil; they no longer use lead based material. When the shade is being made, it is dipped in a solution that darkens the copper and takes away its shine. This is normal and typically the piping is dark colored in order to allow the glass pieces to steal the limelight and increase the contrast.

Antique Tiffany Lamps

antique tiffany lamps

Original antique tiffany lamps constructed by Louis Comfort Tiffany can often fetch astronomical prices at auction, upwards of many millions of dollars. These authentic tiffany lamps typically feature lead metalwork to hold the glass in place, and various others signs of authenticity.

Early tiffany lamps may have cost as little as $12.50, an equivalent of about $225 today, but due to their long heritage and long-term durability, these vintage tiffany lamps can fetch a high price tag now. This is also partly due to the fact that the glass is prone to potential breakage or the lead piping may become damaged, and so an intact, pristine condition tiffany lamp is a rare and beautiful collectors item.

Beautiful tiffany lamps have been handed down for generations as family heirlooms precisely for this reason, and even modern tiffany lamps today will be considered collectors items some years from now. If you can find a genuine Luis Comfort tiffany lamp in good condition, you could be onto a fortune.

Where to find new Tiffany Lamps for Sale

tiffany lamps for saleToday, tiffany designs and the use of small glass pieces in decorative items are more widespread than a century ago. As well as being available from long-standing companies such as Dale Tiffany and Meyda Tiffany, many larger lighting manufacturers may use tiffany glass in some portion of their lamps and light fixtures.

Companies specializing in tiffany lighting may be fewer and further between. But here at lampsusa.com we try to maintain a large selection of tiffany lamps and lighting so that you'll have a wide variety to choose from.

Tiffany lamps can tend to be more costly than lamps made with other materials - this is normal, the amount of labor and craftsmanship required to manufacture such works of art is much higher, and tiffany lamps are well worth the money.

 

We're in love with tiffany style lamps and lighting. The coloration and decorative qualities are second to none and tiffany lamps add a magical sparkle to any room. Here's a handy breakdown of our selection of tiffany lamps and lights.

Tiffany Chandeliers

Tiffany Kitchen Lights

Tiffany Pendants

Tiffany Flush-Mount Lights

Tiffany Outdoor Lighting

Tiffany Table Lamps

Tiffany Floor Lamps

Tiffany Accent Lamps

Tiffany Windows

 tiffany lamps and lighting

 

 

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