Suess Leaded Glass Lamp

Value (2003) | $12,000 Auction$16,000 Auction

Where did you get this lamp?

At an antique store in Santa Cruz, about 1970, I think.

Okay, and what did you know about it when you got it?

Absolutely nothing. I've looked all over. There's no marks whatsoever. I'm pretty sure it's not a Tiffany, because I've never seen a Tiffany that had curved glass like this. The curve fits the shade.

Do you remember what you paid for it?

No, but it couldn't have been over $400. I would have paid more if I'd had to, but I would have remembered if I had.

Okay, well, this is not a Tiffany lamp. It is made by the Suess Ornamental Glass Company in Chicago. They were active 1886 to 1910. And this lamp is fairly rare. We have not ever seen a Suess lamp, to my knowledge, here at the ROADSHOW on the glass table. This is just a gorgeous shade, and as you can see, it is very naturalistically shaded-- the greens and the yellows and these pink or red berries. These nice, large panels here, which are more difficult to do, and then also you have a good deal of iridescence. Good quality glass, very artistically put together. The base here is patinated. It's a very Tiffany-esque base, and I'm not sure whether it's bronze or white metal. I didn't take it apart. It's heavy enough to be bronze. Bronze is a better metal, and you would have thought that the Suess Company would have been working with a bronze, rather than spelter. The Suess Company was one of those good makers at the same time the Tiffany Company was making shades and lamp bases, but without the name recognition. Now, you have a cover that's missing. Was that missing when you bought it?

Yes, it was.

Okay, now, the Suess items are not, you know, found every day. It might be a little bit more difficult for you to find a Suess cap, but I think it'd be worth it and with a finial that would secure the lampshade and prevent it from any damage in the future. Now, you paid $400 for it. What do you think it's worth now?

I have no idea without the Tiffany name.

Okay, I would say a good auction estimate would be $12,000 to $16,000, because it's such a beautiful shade.

Oh, that's very good.

It's a pleasure to see it.

Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2003)
$12,000 Auction$16,000 Auction
San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2003)
Glass , Metal

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