Vintage Stiffel Lamps
Vintage Stiffel Lamps are original lamps produced by the American furniture manufacturer the Stiffel Lamp Company.
History & Description
The Stiffel Lamp Company was founded by Ted Stiffel, a designer and artist, in Chicago, Illinois, in 1932. For sixty-eight years the company crafted a diverse range of floor and table lamps that utilised the company’s unique foil signature from brass, pewter and bronze.
In 1957, Stiffel sued the Sears, Roebuck & Company for patent infringement regarding the design of Stiffel’s innovative pole lamp. Having reached the United States Supreme Court in 1964, the Supreme Court ruled in Sears’ favour.
Stiffel continued to produce lamps until 2000 but went bankrupt and its factory was closed.
Guide for collectors
Stiffel lamps are infrequently offered by national auction houses, particularly in the United States. Prices tend to range between $100 and $500, however, it is not uncommon for pieces to exceed a thousand dollars.
The most valuable Stiffel lamps are those that were designed by Tommi Parzinger, who was one of the leading furniture and interior designers of the Mid-Century Modern period. Prices for Stiffel lamps designed by Parzinger typically sell between $1,0003 and $2,0004.
Notable auction sales
On April 18th 2011 at Bonhams in Los Angeles, California, a pair of Stiffel brass lamps, attributed to Tommi Parzinger, realised a price of $1,220.
On October 2nd 2010 at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey, a pair of tall brass Stiffel lamps, attributed to Tommi Parzinger, realised a price of $1,900.
On June 12th 2011 at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey, a pair of Stiffel table lamps, designed by Tommi Parzinger in the 1960s, realised a price of $2,500.
On April 3rd 2004 at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey, a pair of Stiffel floor lamps realised a price of $1,300.