It’s no new concept that fashion tends to recycle itself. An item that was hot in the 80s was not in the 90s, but trends seem to cycle back into queue. Interior design, lighting and all that design encompasses is no exception to the rule. Tiffany style lights have been around for more than 100 years and they seem to wax and wane in popularity throughout the decades. Currently, Tiffany light fixtures are on the rise to make a come back in 2012.
Tiffany Lighting: A Brief History
Tiffany lights have been around since the 1890s, coming into play during the Art Nouveau movement of design and culture. At the time, Art Nouveau was the modern style. It feature bold colors and patterns, so Tiffany lamps and other fixtures fit right in with the era.
The history started with a man named Louis Comfort Tiffany who started Tiffany Studios. As the business grew, Tiffany hired in many people, including Clara Driscoll, to help design and create the fixtures, which were growing immensely in demand.
Though Louis Tiffany passed away in the 1930s, Tiffany lamps have continued to wax and wane in popularity through the decades. They were at their peak of popularity during the Art Nouveau period but popularity dropped significantly after Tiffany’s death.
Eventually, Tiffany lamps regained popularity in the 1950s and demand for the authentic fixtures has been growing steadily ever since thanks to their extremely high quality materials and equally high quality craftsmanship.
Where to Find Tiffany Light Fixtures and What to Look For
Currently, you can find Tiffany-style light fixtures just about anywhere, including various home improvement retailers, design centers, home decor stores and internet retailers. True Tiffany lamps and other fixtures are still around, but you need to be wary as there are thousands of knock-offs on the market.
Today, Tiffany refers to the style rather than the actual authentic fixtures themselves. Authentic Tiffany lamps and other fixtures were produced between the 1890s and 1930s and since so many were custom-made, it can be difficult to differentiate between an authentic and a fake.
Authentic Tiffany light fixtures feature a bronze base, though a few extremely rare (custom made, requested) pieces exist. Dealers selling “Tiffany” fixtures with a base made from anything else is more than likely to be fake. The base should also include a stamp that states “Tiffany Studios” along with a number.
After this, it can be more tricky to identify an authentic Tiffany. In fact, it may be more worthwhile to take the light fixture to a professional with experience in the fixture. Some tricks to help determine an original from a fake include asking the seller about the history of the fixture, as many are kept in families, have records of previous sales or have some form of authentication for the fixture.
In short, chances are it will be difficult to get your hands on a true, authentic Tiffany light fixture. However, that doesn’t mean that a variety of Tiffany-style light fixtures aren’t available to sooth your desire for the stylish fixtures.
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