A recently discovered rare stained glass and bronze lantern made by Tiffany Studios in 1905 had been hidden away in a janitor’s closet since about 1960. The lantern, with irises pictured on each side, was donated to a “Pennsylvania institution” by a Philadelphia pharmacist about 1960. Freeman’s Auction sold the lamp for the institution for $370,000 to a phone bid in 2016. It is only one of six or seven Tiffany hanging lanterns that are known, at least three with irises, according to some authors. The lantern is 24 inches high and has six panels. It has never been restored.
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I have been collecting antiques for about 40 years. and about 39 years ago, I wanted to buy a dresser. My friend put me in touch with a local dealer, who, back then, was making the trek to California, with antiques from New England.
I visited at his home, and noticed that in every room there was a Tiffany lamp of some kind, so I asked him about that.He said I have a tall case clock and a Tiffany lamp in every room, to remind me of how foolish I was in the 1950’s.
He was a landlord in Boston, along Mass Ave. He told me that in his days as a landlord, he and his crew, would renovate the large buildings that were 5 stories tall; and he and his men would take a baseball bat to the large entryway lead glass lamps. To collect the lead. He said back then no one was interested in leaded lamps, and Lead was 9 cents a pound. He said we must have broken apart a couple of hundred lamps while we were renovating the different apartments in Boston.