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Tiffany Lamps - A Timeless Treasure
Among the varied accomplishments of it's inventor, the lamp was among Louis Comfort Tiffany's least favorite. The brilliant artist and cunning businessman took far greater pride in his work in areas such as interior design, painting, stained glass creations, and even ceramics. Because Tiffany's lamps were mass-produced, they failed to give him the same pride as his many other artistic endeavors. However, despite his lack of satisfaction, it is the Tiffany lamp which has endured the test of time and has become the symbol of his stunning vision and creativity.
Tiffany Lamp Background
Following a great many years of experimentation and tinkering, Tiffany patented his unique opalescent glass and named it "Favrile" in 1894. The artisan had found a new process to make and utilize what had previously been referred to as "art glass" and to apply it to household products. By 1895, Tiffany lighting was born after he began using his "Favrile" glass in lampshades. For the next decade or so, Tiffany Studios produced a wide array of styles and designs which numbered over 300 by 1906. Some of his most recognizable designs include the Wisteria and Hanginghead Dragonfly Lamp, which to this day, are the most sought after designs.
Part of the allure and initial popularity of Tiffany lamps was their ability to soften the effects of incandescent lighting upon rooms thus creating a more natural lighting effect. Much as his stained glass windows had done for churches and other patrons, his lamps produced a visual but functional piece of art that was available to just about anyone. Compared with the other choices available, Tiffany lamps simply stood out as truly artistic representations of a very practical and common household item. Their quality and variety could not be matched by competitors but the popularity of his lamp began to wane from about 1910 onward.
Though Tiffany Studios continued to produce the leaded glass lamps on into the early 1930's, their popularity continued to plummet. Because they were mass-produced and so many people had them, the Tiffany lamp became an overused cliché. By the time his company declared bankruptcy in 1932, Tiffany lamps were considered passe by most people's account.
The Tiffany Lamp Revival
Louis Comfort Tiffany died in 1933 so he did not live to see his creation's resurgence in popularity. At the time of his death, the master artisan could never have guessed that he would be most remembered for his mass produced lamps. For the very same reasons that his lamps became popular at the turn of the century, quality and variety, they have once again become chic. Every L.C. Tiffany lamp is an original despite having been mass-produced. The selection of the colors and textures of the "Favrile" glass was unique to every lamp. Not only are original Tiffany lamps of exceptional quality and variety, but they are all one-of-a-kind pieces of art. To this very day, a small number of acclaimed manufacturers keep the Louis Comfort Tiffany legacy alive by recreating his lamps and continuing to provide new generations with the opportunity to experience "The Touch of Tiffany".
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