Although many of these Handel lamps have the same design number, even done by the same artist, no two are identical. Much of this is because of the unique process used to make these lamps. The lamp shades started with clear blown glass blanks, then a watercolor of the purposed design was given to the artist. The glass artist then copied the design on the interior of the blank, also known as reverse painting. Many of the designs were of birds, flowers or other scenes. Often the artist added extra flowers, butterflies or some other feature to the approved design. They used enamel paints which were fired into the glass, making the design permanent. The exterior of the glass was sand blasted, the surface was coated with fish glue and through the firing process, gave the exterior of the shade a frosted chipped ice look. It was not until the lamp was turned on, that you really saw the design painted on the interior, illumining a 3-D effect of the design.
Handel made both gas and electric lamps, with leaded shades like Tiffany's and the reverse painting process described above. All Handel's lamps had the company's name, generally impressed or raised, on the base and /or the shade. They came in many different sizes and styles, including boudoir, floor, & table models, some with brass, glass, or designed bases, and many different styles of shades as well. A few of these lamps sell for $400 to $800, however most are in the thousands, with extremely rare pieces bringing over hundred thousand dollars. Lamps with shades which were signed by the artist are amongst the more valuable. Some artists to watch for are Bailey, Palme, and Parlow.
Only about 5 -10% of the leaded lamps, called Handel are really made by Handel. In the late 1970's there were many dealers that put unsigned shades on Handel bases, and called them original Handel's. Even many of the signed ones are not authentic, when buying or selling these lamps seek the advise of experts.
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