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Tiffany Accent Lamp - How to Spot A Fake Tiffany Accent Lamp

1. poor craftsmanship 3. condition 3. marks and logos

The famous American jeweler, Louis Comfort Tiffany started crafting his namesake lampshades and glass pieces in the late 19th century, presenting them for the first time to the public at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. When they were first introduced, Tiffany accent lamps sold for around $100 each. In today’s world, adjusting for inflation, that would be equivalent to approximately $2500. While this is an expensive price for a lamp, especially in the 1890s, it is only a fraction of what authentic Tiffany accent lamps sell for at auction today. Real Tiffany accent lamps have been sold at auctions for prices ranging between $10,000 to $2 million, depending on the rarity and quality of the lamp. Tiffany lamps are highly prized for their intricate colors and expert craftsmanship and are very collectible and desirable. Because of this, many reproductions and replica Tiffany accent lamps have flooded the market, making it difficult to tell whether or not a lamp is genuine or fake. The best counterfeit Tiffany accent lamps have been manufactured in order to deceive an uneducated buyer who is willing to spend thousands of dollars on a lamp. They may have been made with the correct markings, possess a signature, and prematurely aged and weathered, making it extremely difficult for all but an expert to authenticate. Below are some tips that can help buyers spot and avoid fake Tiffany accent lamps.

1. Poor Craftsmanship

Genuine Tiffany lamps are renowned for their excellence in craftsmanship and construction. The precision of the cuts of the glass pieces is surgical and the soldering is neat and clean. On top of this, Tiffany only used high quality materials for crafting his lamps. If the lamp in question has sloppy soldering and cheap looking glass, it is probably a fake. Another thing is to look at the construction of the base. If the metal feels thin or lightweight, the accent lamp is most likely a forgery. Real Tiffany lamps are heavy and sturdy and feel well made.

2. Fake “Aging”

Many times forgers will paint a new lamp with colors and artificial patina to make it look aged. Over the course of time, old metal develops a natural patina from oxidation and exposure to the environment. Newer lamps can be made to look old by being painted. The lamp in question should be examined for any signs that it has been coated with a fake patina. One way to do this is to take a cotton swab coated with acetone and rub the glass. There should be no coloring that comes off of the surface of the glass and onto the swab.

3. Condition

Authentic Tiffany accent lamps often come with minor defects like cracks or loose pieces that have arisen due to wear and tear over time. After years of being exposed to the heat of light bulbs, the glass panels usually have a few small cracks. Also, the glass may rattle and some pieces of the assembly may be loose. A fake Tiffany accent lamp will have tight parts and glass with no cracks. An authentic Tiffany accent lamp may be in perfect condition, but theses specimens are the exception to the rule.

3. Marks and Logos

Tiffany did not use a standard method of marking his lamps and lamp bases, which can be confusing to a lot of collectors. Lampshades were occasionally stamped with a logo, while lamp bases almost always had one. The lettering on the stamp can prove to be a good sign for the authenticity of a lamp. Real Tiffany lamps will have lettering in the logo that is all one height. Also, the name of the company is always spelled out completely. If there is an abbreviation on part of the logo, the lamp is a fraud.

Also, sometimes forgers will add a stamp after it has been artificially aged, which will make the stamp look shiny. The lettering should also be crisp and precise.

The lettering itself should be in all capital letters. Tiffany always used upper case letters on his stamps and logos. Forgers often mix upper and lower case letters on their forgeries.

Finally, the font of the Tiffany stamps should not have serifs. Serifs are small, decorative tails on the ends and beginnings of letters. All Tiffany stamps are sans-serif, or without serifs.

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