Unique Art Glass & Metal Co.

Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. Lamps & Lighting

Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. lamps are known for their beauty, craftsmanship and designs. In the antique and decorative arts market, Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. lamps are commanding excellent value and driving increased interest.

If you're interested in selling or consigning your Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. lamp, learn more about its value and how Fontaine's Auction Gallery can help you realize maximum sales potential. Below is a history and a few examples of authentic Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. lamps sold by Fontaine's Auction Gallery.

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Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. History


Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. is arguably the most influential manufacturer that made leaded glass lamp shades in the shadow of Tiffany Studios. In 1903, they were among the first to embrace copper-foil work and they soon emerged as the undisputed leader in this advanced field. Unique was able to play a major role in defining the designs of popular leaded shades and other lamp manufacturers at the time copied many of their ideas.


Through their advertisements, Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. claimed to be the largest manufacturer of copper-foiled lampshades in the United States. Their product line was extremely large and diverse, but using the most current information we have, their lamps were never signed and no catalog has yet surfaced. Unique displayed many advertisements but they only displayed their lower-end lamps. It is thought that Unique had such a well-known name during their time that they did not need to advertise their fancier models. What must have been common knowledge in the industry long ago, is lost from memory now, and we are left with only a minute amount of information for this extraordinary company.


An entrepreneur named George W. Bayley was the main driving forces behind Unique's remarkable success. Beginning in 1889, he was granted several patents on fixture design, but his involvement in the lighting field could date back a few years prior. He began working with his brother, William, at a business called the Novelty Art Metal Co. The Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. appeared in the Directories in 1896, listed at his brother's address, but with George Bayley as sole owner.


The two brothers continued to run their enterprises until 1898 when William closed his business. At this point, Unique was gaining momentum in bent glass popularity and was continuing its rise. Following his brother's business closure, George assumed control of their joint factory and began an ambitious program of growth. The Unique Art Glass & Metal Co. was officially incorporated in 1899.