Iconic Dome-Shaped Tiffany Lamps Go for Thousands

The first Tiffany lamps with dome-shaped stained-glass shades were made in 1895. They became very popular and very expensive. Other lamp and glass companies adapted the idea and made less expensive reverse-painted glass shades, colored glass and metal-trimmed shades, and copies of the originals. None are as expensive as the originals today, but some are considered important and sell for thousands of dollars. Philip Julius Handel made lamps in Meriden, Connecticut, from 1893 to 1933, and his reverse-painted shade lamps are now selling for up to $8,000. Almost all of his lamps are signed on the inside of the shade and on the metal lamp base. Price is determined by the design on the shade and the shape of the bronze base. A recent Morphy Auctions of Pennsylvania sold a Handel “Elephantine Island” table lamp with a bronze base held by three winged griffins. The shade is a painting of the ancient Egyptian ruins on Elephantine, a small island on the Nile. The lamp sold for $5,248.


Q: Can you give me an idea of the value of my Hunzinger rocking chair? It’s a platform rocking chair with a twisted wood frame and a worn padded and upholstered back with headrest, arms and seat.

A: George Hunzinger emigrated to the U.S. in 1855 and began to make furniture in New York City. He was an innovative designer of Victorian patented furniture, and known for carved twisted legs and arms, big beaded decoration and a complex rocking mechanism. Many Hunzinger pieces are signed with a label or tag, and many are not. But often you can find some notation of the patents used by Hunzinger that can be used to help with identification and date. Hunzinger platform rockers auction from $150 up to about $500. Rockers with extraordinary detail in excellent condition and in a recognizable pattern sell for more. Your rocker would be $200 to $250.

Q: I have a brown and green glazed Weller bowl with a figural squirrel on the rim. It’s about 5 inches high and 7 inches long. Is the squirrel glued or molded onto the bowl?

A: The squirrel is molded then added on the rim of the bowl. It’s attached the same way a handle is attached, by first scoring and “slipping” the surface of the two parts to be joined, then pressing the two parts together. It is not glued but held by working the still-damp clay. Your bowl is part of Weller’s Woodcraft line, which was introduced in 1928. It included pieces with matte glaze and natural-looking tree stumps, logs and realistic animals.

Q: My wife was a collector of mustache cups and she accumulated about fifty of them before she died. I’m not sure what to do with them and would like to know if they have any value.

A: Mustache cups were popular from 1850 to 1900 when large, flowing mustaches were popular. A mustache cup had a ledge of china or silver that kept the hair out of the liquid in the cup and kept the mustache wax from melting. Mustache cups have sold at auctions in the past year for about $30 to over $100. Left-handed mustache cups are rare but have been reproduced. Left-handed mustache cups have sold for over $400. You can consign your collection to an auction house or contact an antiques store in your area to see what they will offer you for them.


Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Photography, carte de viste, amputees, civil war veterans, trumpet, American flag, S. Roden, $85.

Rocker, Shaker, shawl, woven tape seat, mushroom caps, no. 7, 40 x 31 x 26 inches, $105.

Photography, tintype, Geo. W. Butler, sea captain, holding octant, tinted, civil war era, $120.

Sewing machine, new home, quarter sawn, oak, cabinet, hinged top, 30 1/2 inches, $120.

Salad Serving Set, Les Six Fleurs, sterling silver, fork, spoon, 9 3/4 inches, $190.

Sampler, alphabet, potted plants, animals, filigree, French text, Elizabeth Tibat, 1723, 18 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, $240.

Boehm sculpture, magnolia grandiflora rhododendron, porcelain, metal, 16 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 9 inches, $370.

Sevres urn, lid, two lovers seated, garden, bronze mounts, signed Marant, 29 inches, $605.

Tobacco jar, humidor, silver, wood liner, Georg Jensen, 5 x 3 inches, $810.

Music, piano, grand, rosewood case, carved, fluted legs, Erard, France, 1895, 38 x 53 x 85 inches, $910.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. Write to Kovels, Sunday News-Register, King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.