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We will be closed Monday, 7/1 through Friday, 7/5, reopening Monday, 7/8

Tiffany Studios New York "Counter Balance" Desk Lamp


Aptly named, this Tiffany Studios New York “Counter Balance” desk lamp is a study in elegance and equilibrium. The shade itself balances two diametrically opposed elements, but in this instance, they are color hues, not physical forms. The green and amber that are found in the shade’s ground are complementary, or perfectly opposite, colors on the color wheel. Tiffany used dichroic (color-changing) glass for his damascene lamps. The magenta and iridescent blue waves of the shade transform into a rich antique gold when lit.


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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: L-20423
Artist: Tiffany Studios New York
Country: United States 
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 7" diameter, 15" height (adjustable)
Materials:  Favrile Glass, Bronze
Shade signed: ''L.C.T.''
Base signed: ''Tiffany Studios New York 416''. 
Literature: A similar shade and base are pictured separately in: Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1988. Shade: p. 87, plate 342; base: p. 87, plate 343.

Tiffany's damascene shades were named after the renowned steel arms of Damascus. In the middle ages, the arms of Damascus were renowned throughout the Christian world. A Damascene blade became, in fact, a proverbial expression. The praises of these weapons were sung by bards, celebrated by princes and warriors, and immortalized in history. The surface of the steel was marked by waving lines, extending parallel to each other in curious spiral convolutions.

Centuries later, Louis Comfort Tiffany became partners with the Orientalist artist Lockwood de Forest, forming the design firm Associated Artists. In May of 1882, on his way back to the United States, De Forest stopped in Damascus to purchase old weapons which he would sell to Tiffany & Company for twice the price. From these old swords, Tiffany would derive the inspiration for his blown glass shades, whose patterns would hypnotize their viewers for decades to come.