|This is without question the best book on the subject,
which will quickly be recognized as a must for the library of the dealer, institution and
The years around the turn of the century saw a binge of extravagant consumer spending that
is unequalled in American history. This period happened to coincide with the primal
electrification of our nation homes, so our earliest efforts at electric lighting had an
extraordinary amount of care and expense lavished upon them. The epitome of these early
extravagances was the mosaic or copper-foiled glass lamp shade. Louis Tiffany has rightly
been credited for inventing and popularizing the medium, but there were also a significant
number of other companies that followed Tiffany lead in this creative new genre. Until
recently, however, the Tiffany name has so dominated the field that the work of these
competitors has been largely ignored.
|Mosaic Shades is the first work to comprehensively address
the contribution of these lesser known manufacturers. Information on them is sparse and
most of the lamps they crafted are far rarer than Tiffany output and seldom seen on the
market today. Paul Crist has devoted ten years to researching these companies and
photographing examples of their work. He has visited over 120 collectors in the course of
assembling a presentation that is both broad in scope and rich in top-of-the-line models.
A brief look through his book will reveal an assemblage that is as
astonishing in its diversity as it is in its wealth of creativity. In fact, these images
represent what is probably a truer picture of American taste after 1900 than the art
nouveau style that dominated Tiffany's oeuvre. These rarely seen examples of their most
elaborate lamps are sure to amaze and delight the antique lover and, hopefully, bring to
you a greater appreciation of these unsung virtuosos.
This volume, #2, focuses on the work of the makers in and around New York City, which at
the time was the nexus of the American lighting industry. Companies such as the Unique Art
Glass & Metal Co., J.A. Whaley, the Handel Co., Duffner & Kimbery and Wilkinson
are represented by over 600 color illustrations of mosaic portables and hanging shades.
These lamp images are supported by almost 700 additional illustrations of archival
documents and stylistic details.
Volume #1 introduces the subject with a history of lighting in the
United States from 1850 to 1900 and goes on to discuss the development of art glass, the
invention of the copper-foil technique and finishes with an overview of Tiffany Studios.
Volume #3 will address the Chicago manufacturers, as well as the other important makers
who were scattered around the country.
Paul Crist has been obsessed with mosaic shades for almost forty years. He was born in
Atlanta, Georgia in 1944 and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967
with a BA in Fine Arts. After a brief stint as an engineer, he launched his career in
stained glass from a small 16・x 20・studio in Fullerton, California in 1972. Eight
years later his glass Workshop・had evolved into a company employing over 50 artisans
engaged in the manufacture and restoration of Tiffany-type lamp shades. This grandiose
enterprise proved unrewarding after a while and the company, under the new banner of Paul
Crist Studios, settled on a more modest and satisfying endeavor of restoring and
repatinating original Tiffany lamps. Paul's knowledge and understanding of the medium has
grown through the years to the point where he now is an acknowledged expert on the lamps
of Tiffany Studios.
His involvement in the field of non-Tiffany lamps is more recent. A nascent interest in
the subject began in the early 1990痴 and, in trying to help collectors identify and to
properly restore these lamps, he soon realized how sparse and, in many cases, how
erroneous the information on the companies was. The research and photography that led to
this work was begun in 1995 and continues unabated to this day. There is always more to
learn and to discover.
Stained Glass Supplies