Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Handel wall sconces could be valuable purchase

February 9, 2006

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Q: I recently acquired a pair of antique two-light wall sconces. Each sconce is marked "Handel" on a small plate on the back. I have done some research on Handel lamps and glassware, but I haven't been able to find much information on sconces. Unfortunately, my bronze-plated sconces are missing their glass shades. What can you tell me?

A: The Handel Co. of Meriden, Conn., and New York City manufactured a relatively small number of wall sconces compared with its production of lamps and larger lighting fixtures. Most of the sconces date from the early 1900s. With their glass shades, the sconces could sell for well over $1,000. Without the shades, they are worth considerably less. Still, if you want to use the sconces, you may be able to find shades that will fit. Just be sure to have the sconces rewired so they're safe.

Q: You pictured a lamp with a Muncie Pottery base decorated with lovebirds. I have a blue-and-white glass vase decorated with the same pattern. But I was told the vase was made by Phoenix Glass Co. of Phoenix. Why are the patterns identical?

A: Phoenix Glass Co. was founded in 1880 in Monaca, Pa. The Love Birds pattern was designed in 1926 by Reuben Haley for Consolidated Lamp and Glass Co. of Coraopolis, Pa. The pattern, part of Consolidated's line of art glass, was copied from a design by Rene Lalique, the famous French glassmaker. Haley also designed similar pieces for Muncie Pottery Co. of Muncie, Ind. Your vase may have been made by Phoenix Glass Co. The Depression forced Consolidated to close from 1933 to 1936. During those years, its molds were lent to Phoenix, which called its art-glass line "Reuben," after the designer. But Phoenix's art glass was made in different colors from Consolidated's. The value of a Phoenix vase in the Love Birds pattern ranges from $50 to $175.

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