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Impressive Pair of Midcentury Ceramic and Brass Table Lamps, by Stiffel

$3,600 Asking Priceper set

About

Pair of large and impressive table lamps in ivory ceramic with solid aged brass base and accents by Stiffel Lighting, American, 1950s. Double cluster socket, labeled "Stiffel" still intact and retains original large ball finial. Rewired using clear cord; complete with new linen shades.

Details

  • Creator
    Stiffel (Manufacturer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 34.5 in. (87.63 cm)Width: 7.5 in. (19.05 cm)Depth: 7.5 in. (19.05 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Hollywood Regency (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1950s
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Base shows age appropriate brass patination, but has been newly rewired and ready for use.
  • Seller Location
    Stamford, CT
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1237213929412

About the Manufacturer

Stiffel

When Ted Stiffel (1899–1971) founded Stiffel in 1932 in Chicago, he wanted to make functional, thoughtfully designed table lamps and other fixtures that were available at an accessible price. Born in Memphis, Stiffel first pursued a career in music before serving in World War I. After his discharge, he worked with the Western Electric Company in Chicago and then the Nellie J. Kaplan Company, a lighting firm also in the Windy City.

After he started his own lamp business, Stiffel began supplying area department stores and by the 1940s had opened a large factory that was producing lamps for nationwide sale, eventually competing with the likes of the Frederick Cooper Lamp Company, also based in Chicago. In 1948, designer Edwin J. Cole joined the company and created some of the firm’s most striking table lamps. Today, Cole’s vintage mid-century modern lighting fixtures for Stiffel, frequently with distinctively tall and shapely ceramic bodies and finished with decorative brass chinoiserie details, are highly prized by collectors.

One of Stiffel’s innovations was his patented switch, which simplified turning lights on and off: All someone had to do was grasp a lamp’s pole and gently pull down. He also designed a pole lamp with a vertical tube that held a series of fixtures on the outside. The upright pole lamp was so innovative that Sears, Roebuck and Company copied it. Stiffel sued, and the case ended up in the Supreme Court in 1964. The ruling against Stiffel was influential in whether states can give a patent to objects that do not have the invention required of federal patents.

After declaring bankruptcy in 2000, the brand was revived in 2013 in Linden, New Jersey, where newly produced high-quality lamps carry the Stiffel name.

Find a collection of vintage Stiffel lighting on 1stDibs.

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