Chicago Antiques Guide

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Slag Glass Lamp with Metal Overlay by N.W. ART SHADE CO.

Posted Friday, February 16 by Brian


Dear AntiquesGuide,
I'm delighted to find a Chicago group who can look at my lamp. This lamp was in grandma's house in the 1940's and I was lucky enough to acquire it. It is marked - N.W. ART SHADE CO. / CHICAGO,ILL. / N 40
Any info you would care to provide would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you. John

Lamps made with so called "slag glass" and decorative metal overlays were popular in the 1920's and early 30's. Lamps with bent glass are more labor intensive to make as well as being more attractive. They were more expensive when new, and still are. The lighted base is also a sign of a more expensive lamp.

A lamp nearly identical to yours sold last December at Skinner in Massachusetts for $3,250. You can see a photo and description of that lamp on the Live Auctioneers site.

You should notice a few differences. The most obvious is the color of the blue/turquoise glass in their lamp. Although I see some blue/turqoise in your lamp, it is not nearly as vibrant. I don't know if it is the glass itself or the lighting in your photo. A second difference is the finial. I believe yours is original, but the other is certainly more eyecatching.

I also found your lamp in Electric Lighting of the 20's -30's Vol. 1. The book reproduces pages from old catalogues. I don't consider it a particularly good reference book for two reasons. First, they did not even identify the company that the catalogue page was from.

Secondly, the prices in the back of the book said that all lamps on the page were $750+. Clearly some of the lamps were worth much more and some might not be worth the $750. The only really useful information was the picture of your lamp which confirmed that the finial on you lamp is original.

Finally the finish in the metal overlay on your lamp appears to be a dull gray, almost like it is the bare pot metal with no finish at all. The one at auction was said to have a gold finish and the catalogue listed the lamp with a polychrome (multi color) finish. Antique gold was mentioned on the catalogue page as a finish on other lamps.

Variations in glass color and metal finishes were not uncommon. Given all the minor variations, it is very hard to tell if yours would sell for the same price. But clearly, it is "a very high grade number", as the catalogue entry described it.

1 Comment | Leave a comment

I have acquired a lamp with the number 68 printed on the bottom. It has a gold finesh  and what looks to be sculptured with a ladies head  and figure coming down lamp.  I would be interested where it was made  and time era.

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