Types of Tiffany Studios Lamps
Louis C. Tiffany founded Tiffany Studios in the early 1880s. In the years that followed, he experimented with different crafting styles and techniques, revolutionizing the craft of glassmaking. He even pioneered the Favrile glass-blowing technique, featured in many of his works. Tiffany Studios is primarily known for its elegant lamps, crafted mostly out of bronze and glass.
Whether you’re a collector or looking to auction your original Tiffany Studios lamps, learn more about Louis C. Tiffany and his highly sought-after lamps below.
About Tiffany Studios
The era of Tiffany Studios, founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany, began in the early 1880s. The name Tiffany may sound familiar, as Louis C. Tiffany’s father founded the famous high-end luxury jewelry brand, Tiffany & Co. Tiffany Studios and Tiffany & Co. are separate brands that specialize in different luxury goods.
Tiffany Studios began as Louis C. Tiffany, Associated Arts. Louis C. Tiffany began his career by collaborating with other esteemed craftspeople, continuously learning new skills and crafting methods. By the mid to late 1880s, Tiffany established himself as a sole craftsman and changed his company’s name to the well-known Tiffany Studios.
Tiffany specialized in glassmaking, although he was also proficient in furniture, metalwork, pottery, jewelry and book design crafting. He’s most known for his lamps made of beautiful glass and bronze, as well as his original blowing technique “Favrile” — a signature in many of his crafts. People quickly fell in love with Tiffany’s work. Even famous figures like Mark Twain, Cornelius Vanderbilt II and President Chester Arthur celebrated his expertise.
Tiffany gained most of his inspiration from his studies of nature and Japanese culture. He loved traveling and getting to know the world around him, translating his views into his crafts. His artwork best represents the Arts and Crafts Movement, known for its imagery, florals and gothic style. Also intertwined into his work is a slight Art Nouveau influence, which broke the norms and embraced curving lines and three-dimensional forms.
Even now, Tiffany Studios is seen as an esteemed luxury brand. Collectors are constantly looking for well-kept Tiffany Studios pieces, especially lamps. There are a wide variety of Tiffany’s lamp designs to collect, as well.
The Different Styles of Tiffany Studios Lamps
Tiffany Studios lamps are highly sought after, valued anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $1 million. Different factors contribute to their value, such as their condition and size. Some of Tiffany Studios’ most popular types of lamps are:
1. Favrile Glass Shades
Favrile glass shades encompass Tiffany’s pioneered glass-blowing technique. The name “Favrile” derives from the Old English word “fabrile,” meaning handcrafted. Tiffany altered the original word to Favrile simply because he thought it sounded better.
The defining characteristic of Favrile glass is its pearlescent iridescence. Favrile glass shades are versatile, describing a wide variety of styles, shapes and sizes of lamps. Some of Tiffany’s favorite colors to include in his Favrile glass shades were gold, red, blue, turquoise and aquamarine.
Examples of Favrile Glass Shades
Some examples of Tiffany Studios Favrile glass shades include:
- Tiffany Studios Favrile candlestick lamp: A thick, goblet-like base made of twisted Favrile reflects colors of gold, aquamarine and magenta. The base supports a smooth glass and bronze insert, decorated with feather imagery. The golden Favrile shade is delicately made to resemble draping fabric with its ruffled rim.
- Tiffany Studios three-light lily lamp: The lily lamp comes in many variations. Thin and often drooping floral shades define lily lamps. This lily lamp has an engraved circular base supporting three intertwined shafts that creates the lamp’s height. At the top of the shafts are three drooping lily shades made of Favrile glass in white and turquoise colors.
- Tiffany Studios art glass candle lamp: Most of this lamp’s base consumes an elegant, goblet-like twisted Favrile glass. It shines primarily golden colors, with hints of turquoise and rosy pink. Inserted into this twisted Favrile glass is a candlestick shaft. The shade is made of golden Favrile glass and has an expertly crafted ruffled rim.
- Tiffany Studios Favrile glass table lamp: From the early 20th century, this table lamp is made wholly from Favrile glass and gilt bronze. The base resembles the bottom half of an hourglass, made of gold and turquoise geometric designs. The height of the base is primarily gold-colored. The globe-shaped shade has a geometric print with patterned, horizontally elongated ovals.
2. Geometric Shades
Geometric shades, as the name suggests, feature geometric designs such as squares, rectangles and triangles. Tiffany used geometric shades in many of his designs, encompassing an array of sizes, shapes and styles of lamps.
All geometric shades are made from small pieces of glass that are soldered together. And there are two main types of geometric shades Tiffany produced — glass tiles, which look like bricks and are highly sought after, and smaller pieces of glass pieced together to form an intricate design.
Examples of Geometric Shades
Some examples of both types of geometric shades include:
- Tiffany Studios Favrile geometric table lamp: This table lamp has a circular bronze base that supports a thin, knuckled shaft. At the top of the shaft is a circular bronze bulb. Attached and stemming from the bulb are two thin shafts, which support the shade. The shade itself is made of taupe and bronze geometric Favrile glass. Most of the design features Favrile bricks, as well as smaller pieces that form repeating spires.
- Tiffany Studios brick geometric table lamp: The shining feature of this lamp is its geometric shade. The shade is supported by a simple bronze base. The shade itself is globe-shaped and made of amber geometric bricks in squared and rectangular shapes. Under the shade are three spherical socket lights, which make the amber glow golden.
- Tiffany Studios 14-inch geometric shade: You can find Tiffany-style lamps without the base, like this example. The shade has a geometric brick pattern made of green mottled glass with amber undertones. It has a circular insert on the top, fit for candlestick or bulb lamps, depending on your base.
- Tiffany Studios 16-inch colonial geometric table lamp: This table lamp represents both types of geometric patterns. It has a simple dark bronze base with a thick shaft. What makes this lamp so magnificent is its shade — bordered with amber brick patterns, it mostly comprises green and amber glass pieces that almost look marbled.
3. Floral Shades
Florals were immensely popular during the Arts and Crafts Movement. You’ll notice Tiffany enjoyed including florals into his work, as he was often inspired by nature. He largely drew inspiration from blooms like peonies, poppies and daffodils. Some of his floral shades feature scattered florals, often accompanied by floral, vine and leaf motifs. Others include textured floral borders, called belted florals. Both are highly sought after.
Examples of Floral Shades
Examples of Tiffany Studios floral lamps include:
- Tiffany Studios 22-inch banded dogwood table lamp: The base of this lamp is a dark bronze with a sunken platform and slight draped ridges. The shaft is straight, with a subtle bulb-like knuckle right under the shade. The shade itself is bordered by green geometric brick patterns with a center floral dogwood pattern. The dogwood florals are multi-colored, including pink, yellow, green and coral glass.
- Tiffany Studios 16-inch red tulip table lamp: Like the previous lamp, this table lamp has a dark bronze base with a sunken platform and slight draped ridges, also featuring four small feet. The globe-shaped shade illustrates a beautiful tulip motif. The tulips are a deep red, contrasted by a green and blue leafy background. Bordering the tulip motif is a rich amber geometric brick pattern. The warm hues used to create the floral features stand out when the lamp is lit and look beautifully subtle when it’s unlit.
- Tiffany Studios oriental poppy chandelier: One of the most highly sought-after designs is Tiffany Studios’ floral chandeliers. This chandelier illustrates beautiful red-orange oriental poppy flowers in a bed of green shafts, with a blue background representing the sky. The shade has a bronze cap that attaches to a bronze chain. At the top of the chain is a canopy of six golden Favrile lily shades with wavy rims.
4. Figural Motif Shades and Bases
Figural motif lamps showcase the Art Nouveau style, which embraced different figurines and three-dimensional sculptures.
Many of Tiffany’s figural designs included dragonflies, butterflies, peacocks and aquatic motifs. What differentiates figural lamp motifs from other Tiffany Studios styles is the base, which usually represents a figure instead of a straight bronze shaft.
Examples of Figural Motif Shades and Bases
Examples of Tiffany Studios figural motif shades and bases are:
- Tiffany Studios peacock art glass lamp base: This hourglass-shaped lamp base consists of iridescent Favrile glass with blue, green and purple tones. The glass designs resemble peacock feathers, known for their elegance. Supporting the base is a bronze border with a beaded edge.
- Tiffany Studios 22-inch drop-head dragonfly floor lamp: The three-dimensional element to this lamp is nine drop-head dragonflies, which bulge out of the dome-shaped shade. The dragonflies have pale blue bodies, red jeweled eyes and wings of amber, white and yellow. At the top of the shade, close to the bronze finial, is a geometric tile pattern in amber. The base of this floor lamp is bronze with four supportive curved feet.
- Tiffany Studios leaded glass aquatic fish lamp: Fine details exist in every aspect of this lamp design. The base represents a three-dimensional bronze pumpkin with shafts branching upward to support the lampshade. The shade itself is an aquatic motif with amber fish and a seaweed background consisting of green and blue details.
- Tiffany Studios dragonfly table lamp: Like the last lamp, this piece has a three-dimensional bronze pumpkin base. The pumpkin’s leaves extend upwards to support the motif shade. The shade features a row of brown dragonflies with red eyes and a vertical green and blue background.
5. Jeweled Feather Shades
Jeweled feather shades get their name from the teardrop-shaped glass integrated into the shade’s design, often accompanied by other geometric patterns.
As Tiffany’s work often integrated vertical patterns, the teardrop shapes add a great dimension that’s well-loved by collectors.
Examples of Jeweled Feather Shades
Examples of jeweled feather shades include:
- Tiffany Studios jeweled feather table lamp: The base of this lamp is circular with vertical ribs and a scroll pattern extending up the shaft. The base is supported by four ball feet. The bottom half of the shade consists of a taupe and green geometric pattern, bordered by a row of taupe teardrop jewels. Above the jewels are vertical textured feather panels.
- Tiffany Studios 16-inch jeweled feather table lamp: This lamp has a bronze library base with a vertical rib design and four ball feet. The rib design extends up the shaft of the lamp, reaching a bulb that extends into two arms that support the shade. The shade is completely amber with pattern-block designs. The lower half consists of four rows of geometric bricks, and the top half includes vertical textured feather panels. The two halves are separated by a row of jeweled teardrops.
6. Turtleback Shades
All shades can have turtleback glass in their design. Turtleback glass is a textured, almost three-dimensional design made from iron molds and iridized while the glass is still hot. The foil edge — which attaches the turtleback glass to the shade — sits above the mold surface. If you look closely, you’ll notice a rim around the glass where this adherence occurs.
Examples of Turtleback Shades
Some examples of turtleback shades include:
- Tiffany Studios zodiac turtleback desk lamp: This lamp is largely made of bronze, showcasing a large pearlescent turtleback glass piece on its shade. It has a hexagonal platform that supports bronze work resembling an antique telescope. At the face of the shade sits the turtleback glass, designed with blue and green zodiac patterns.
- Tiffany Studios grid turtleback table lamp: This lamp’s bell-shaped base supports a thin shaft with knuckle detailing. Four ball feet support the base. The lamp’s shade features mainly taupe geometric bricks, but the star of the show is a row of iridescent turtleback glass.
- Tiffany Studios gold turtleback table lamp: The base and shaft of this lamp are packed with details. The base has an artichoke pattern with a glossy finish and ribbed top. The shaft has a teardrop form at the bottom and an artichoke riser at the top. This lamp’s shade showcases amber brick patterns on both the upper and lower halves, separated by a row of pearlescent turtleback glass.
- Tiffany Studios turtleback chandelier: This lamp’s 19-inch glass shade features amber brick patterns, separated by a border of red diamond-patterned glass. At the bottom of the shade is a turtleback tile bordered by rich red-amber glass panels and jeweled teardrops. Chains connect the shade to a bronze shaft, which connects to a bronze ceiling fixture with vertical ribs and twist details.
- Tiffany Studios hanging acorn with turtleback: The Tiffany Studios chandelier features a dome-shaped shade with green geometric grid patterns with tan details bordered along the top. On the opposite end, at the peak of the shade, rests a pearlescent turtleback piece of glass. The shade is supported by a bronze shaft and bell-shaped ceiling fixture.
7. Linenfold Shades
Linenfold shades, also known as “Favrile Fabrique” linenfold, are long panels of pleated glass that are vertically ribbed.
Most linenfold shades also feature smaller bordering panels on the top and bottom of the pleated glass. This style of Tiffany Studios lamps is highly sought-after by collectors because of their gothic Arts and Crafts Movement appearance.
Examples of Linenfold Shades
If you are interested in a linenfold Tiffany Studios lamp, consider these examples:
- Tiffany Studios counterbalance floor lamp: This floor lamp has a bronze base with eight feet that resemble leaves. There are six knuckles going up the shaft, reaching a double S-shaped arm at the top. The S-shaped arm supports the lampshade, which has amber linenfold paneling.
- Tiffany Studios linenfold table lamp: The shade of this table lamp features 12 amber linenfold panels, bordered with darker brown panels. It includes a bronze base that branches into three arms, and each looks as though they’re holding a green candlestick.
- Tiffany Studios New York linenfold double student lamp: This lamp has a simple base with vertical ribbing. It has a thin shaft that reaches a finial with two curved arms branching off of it. Each arm supports a green linenfold shade with dark bronze borders.
- Tiffany Studios amber linenfold lamp: This lamp’s base is made of golden bronze in an octagonal shape. The shaft is curved with two protruding knuckles, creating more dimension. The shaft supports a shade made of dark amber linenfold panels and a bordering geometric brick pattern.
- Tiffany Studios green linenfold on a cattail base: The shade of this table lamp is made entirely of long, green linenfold panels. The base is considered a figural motif, resembling a cattail with four cabriole legs connected to a flat platform.
8. Overlay Shades
Overlay shades have a base background color with an intricate bronze overlay, usually in a floral design.
Overlay shades are extremely versatile, encompassing many different designs and styles. A good example of an overlay shade is:
- Tiffany Studios grapevine desk lamp: The base showcases a round sunken platform with a finial stem that branches out into two arms. The arms create a circular shape that surrounds the lampshade, meeting at the top of the lampshade and connecting to a bell-shaped sphere. The bell-shaped sphere supports the lampshade, an overlaid bronze grapevine pattern with a blown green glass background.
Buy or Sell a Tiffany Lamp at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, founded over five decades ago, specializes in the purchase and sale of fine art, antiques, jewelry and other sought-after items. Our wide audience of collectors actively searches for Tiffany Studios lamps, and we have a wide selection for them to choose from. Contact us today to learn more about how consigning and buying Tiffany Studios lamps works at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.
Consigning Tiffany Studios Lamps
We make consigning your Tiffany Studios lamp simple. At Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, we specialize in selling lamps at auction. When you consign a piece with us, our experts will give you an estimate on how much your piece is worth — and, when auctioning, you have the opportunity to make even more than the maximum estimated value.
To receive an estimate, all you need to do is request a free appraisal by emailing us, submitting our online auction estimate form or scheduling an in-person appointment. Learn more about our consigning process by visiting our dedicated webpage.
Buying Tiffany Studios Lamps
We offer collectors many ways to bid on merchandise because we understand that everyone’s schedule may not accommodate in-house buying. We have a global reach, as well, and we want to satisfy everyone’s needs. Some ways you can bid with us include in-house, phone, online and absentee bidding. Learn more about these styles of bidding by visiting our dedicated webpage.