Chicago Antiques Guide

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Art Nouveau Spelter Newel Post Lamp

Posted Tuesday, January 03 by Brian

art nouveau newel lamp.jpg
Don wrote in asking about this Art Nouveau lamp. His Grandma said it is bronze, and is probably a newel post lamp. There are no marks except on the switch and shade holders. It stands 30" tall and the base is 8" diameter and weighs 20 lbs. The condition is quite good. He would like to know what it might sell for.

Well Don, your Grandma was right about it being a newel post lamp. But as we found out after some testing, it is not bronze but spelter. Spelter is an imitation of bronze, consisting of a silver or gray soft metal with a bronze patina added. The clue was the weight. A bronze piece this size should have weighed between 40 and 60 pounds. After scratching the metal underneath, you found the silver colored metal under the patina. You also discovered that one of the petals on a shade is broken off.

If the piece had been bronze, or even if the figurine had been signed by the artist, the value could be much higher. Based on the information you supplied I would think this lamp would probably sell in an antique shop in the area of $450.

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