Behind the Scenes Conservation of Our Circa 1900 Tiffany Floor Lamp
New for March 2023! • 2m 7s
In preparing for the "Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection" exhibit, The Henry Ford’s curatorial department expressed interest in displaying a Tiffany Studios early floor lamp, circa 1900, from the collections. This lamp features a telescopic shaft and a dual wick kerosene burner for extra illumination.
In Tiffany publications, the lamp rests on an outer cushion-textured base with six ball-shaped feet. However, the outer base from The Henry Ford’s lamp was missing, with no previous record of its existence when it entered the collection in 1966.
We embarked upon an effort to locate a similar base in museums or private collections to serve as a reference or pattern, to inform the creation of a replacement base—only to discover that the lamp is quite rare. Ultimately, the base was printed with the help and generosity of the additive manufacturing team at the Ford Advanced Manufacturing Center.
Next, came the process of paint-matching. Achieving a finish that matched the original metal lamp required the application of several layers of paint. The colors were mixed into several formulations to closely match the patina (aged finish) of the lamp.