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Tips For Collecting Antique Tiffany Lamps

Sep 2, 2007
Louis Comfort Tiffany with Tiffany and Company began producing beautiful stained glass lamps in the early 20th century. Over that time many styles of lamp bases and colorful shades were produced these have become highly valued pieces for collectors. When purchasing an antique lamp you should consider more than just the name on the lamp to decide if the piece is fairly priced and worthy of investment. Below are a few considerations for beginning collectors to keep in mind.

* The quality of the painting on reverse painted tiffany lamp shades has a big impact on the value of the lamp itself. Two shades may be of the same pattern, but can vary greatly in price based on quality. No two stained glass lamps are exactly the same!

* Artist signed lamps do generally have more worth to collectors, but these are not always the best investment lamps for a collector. An unsigned stained glass lamp can have better overall quality and overall appearance, raising value substantially for the piece even without the signature from the artist. While on the flip side a signed piece may not be constructed as well, and have less vibrant color bringing the quality down as well as the value. Also a signed stained glass lamp may not be authentic, forged signatures can and do occur in the antiques market so buyer beware. Consider any purchase carefully and inspect each lamp objectively.

* When collecting try to stick with shades and bases from the same company. Though you can mix and match shades and bases from several potential makers, collectors tend to prefer only one company per lamp.

* On metal lamp bases with the surface finish in the patina style ensure this is in top condition. The patina process is used on metal bases to create a aged bronze look on the material using a special treatment process. If over polished, the value of the lamp decreases and a new patina is expensive to get for the lamp base. This new patina will also not fully restore the value of the base so ensure the original is in top shape in the first place.

* If purchasing a Tiffany lamp for investment purposes, buy the best lamp you can afford. Lower end more available lamps do not appreciate as quickly as a higher quality more unique lamp will.

* Be wary of buying stained glass lamps at auctions, especially when you do not get an opportunity to thoroughly examine the piece beforehand. These are prime opportunities to sell forgeries as well as lower quality lamps at higher prices to buyers who are in the mood to buy.

* Avoid damaged lamps or lamps which have undergone repairs. These lamps are not good investments as they tend to always remain well below the value of undamaged lamps.

Collecting Tiffany lamps can be a very fun and rewarding hobby as well as a potential investment for your family. Take your time before purchasing a lamp to inspect the piece and if at all possible purchase from a reputable dealer.
About the Author
Antique Tiffany lamps can be very expensive, for the same beautiful stained glass lamp at a very affordable cost visit All-Things-Tiffany and select from a large variety of Tiffany table lamps, Tiffany table lamps, and wall sconce lamps.
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