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What's It Worth?

What is it? A table lamp with a reverse-painted winter snow scene by Handel, circa 1920s.

June 13, 1998|KATHY BRYANT

What's its history?

Philip Handel produced art glass lamps in Meriden, Conn., beginning in 1885. His work is similar to the work done by Tiffany studios of the same era, but Handel's was less expensive. The factory closed in the 1930s.

Handel made gas and electric lamps with both leaded glass and reverse-painted shades. Shades signed by artists such as Bailey, Palme and Parlow are highly valued.

What's the legend?

This lamp was given to a Garden Grove resident by her grandmother many years ago. "She bought it in the 1920s for around $7 in Vancouver. It's been in the family ever since."

How was it made?

Teroma is a term used to describe glassware decorated on the exterior with paint that has a sandy finish. Many of Handel's blank chinaware pieces were supplied by Limoges.

This lamp's bronzed metal base is particularly striking and adds extra value.

What's it worth today?

"It could be worth in the range of $1,000 to $1,500," says Wendell Garrett, senior vice president of Sotheby's. "The base is especially nice."

According to Joyce MacRae, owner of Residence bis in Los Angeles: "A rare Handel 'Poppy' lamp, signed by an artist, brought $55,000 in Massachusetts two years ago."

Where can I find it?

Handel lamps are fairly rare and highly collectible (Steven Spielberg is among high-profile collectors). Antique stores dealing with art nouveau items are the best sources.

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