Tiffany Lampshade Identification

Written by rebecca miller
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Tiffany Lampshade Identification
Tiffany Lampshades (Image by, courtesy of Darrell Noice)

An authentic Tiffany lampshade are a collector's dream come true. There are not many in circulation but mass reproductions are plentiful. A genuine Tiffany lamp can be worth £6,500 to £0.6 million or £1.3 million. Tiffany lampshade identification is best left to the professionals.

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Louis Comfrey Tiffany started the first Tiffany Glass Co. in 1885 where he produced his beautiful art nouveau glass works. The company changed its name to Tiffany Studios in 1900 then closed in 1928.

Colour Clues

The Tiffany Co. used copper foiling for soldering the glass pieces together. To strengthen the copper foil it was covered with silver solder lines. According to the Morse Museum, with authentic lampshades, the patina placed over the silver is highlighted a green or reddish-brown colour, which is very hard to duplicate.


Many believe they can tell authentic Tiffany lampshades by markings on the bottom metal rim bearing the company signature. But many originals do not have any marking or it is impossible to find. Tiffany expert Arlie Sulka of Lillian Nassau Ltd. says never to trust markings or signatures because they are too easy to fake.


It is easier to discover an imposter than it is to determine authenticity. Check colour fastness buy using a cotton ball and a bit of nail polish remover, if the colour comes off, it is a fake.

Expert Opinion

Only trained eyes can tell for sure whether a lampshade is original. If you believe you have an original, contact or Christie's auction house. Both will give free estimates online by following their simple instructions.

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