In sculptural lamps, light was secondary Antiques: Art was more important to Tiffany and other makers.

March 02, 1997|By Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel | Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel,KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

Since the late 19th century, artists have made lamps that are more sculptures than lighting devices.

Perhaps the most famous is the Tiffany bronze-and-glass lily lamp. The glass shades, shaped like flower heads, each hold a small bulb. The light is directed down to the table, but some light can be seen through the gold-colored iridescent glass.

Art glass lamps by Galle, Daum and other French makers are shaped like plants, mushrooms or even dancing women. The bulbs are small, more to enhance the glass and design than to give useful reading light.

One desirable style of lamp is the Victorian statue lamp often used on a wooden newel. The lamp usually consists of a metal figure of a woman, child or man, holding a torch or surrounded by branches of luminous metal leaves and flowers. The figures are made of white metal with a bronze finish. The lamp's base is bolted to the newel.

L In good condition, such lamps sell for thousands of dollars.

Can you tell me what I bought at a flea market? It's shaped like a rocket and is about 9 inches long, with clamps on the bottom that attach it to something. It runs on battery power and is marked "Delta."

You have a rocket-shaped bicycle light made in 1959 by the Delta Electric Co.

The company was founded in Chicago in 1913. In 1965, it became part of the Novo Industrial Corp., and it still makes lighting and other products. Your bicycle light is worth $35 to $50.

I was given a rather elaborate clock on a stand. Next to it is a brass figure of a man playing a flute. The clock face says "New Haven Clock Co." Was I given trash or treasure?

The New Haven Clock Co. was founded in 1853. At first, it just made inexpensive brass movements. In 1856, it bought a clock manufacturing company and began making complete clocks. Near the end of the century, it offered an extensive line of clocks and started making watches.

The company, which changed its name in 1946 to the New Haven Clock and Watch Co., went out of business in 1959.

Your figural clock probably was made in the late 1800s, in which case it would be worth several hundred dollars.

The Kovels welcome letters and answer as many as possible through the column. Write to Kovels, The Sun, King Features Syndicate Inc., 235 E. 45th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Pub Date: 3/02/97

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