Orange-topped Tiffany lamp restoration

by | 10th June, 2021 | 0 comments

Naturally, a lamp made from stained glass weighs quite a lot. Add to this the weight of the solder required to hold all the glass pieces together, and you definitely have a heavy structure. Therefore it is not a surprise that Tiffany-style lamps sometimes come apart at the vase cap (the round metal piece on the top of the shade).

This was the case with a large, bold, orange and green coloured Tiffany lamp that I received for repair recently.

Luckily the owner had saved the pieces that had been pulled apart when the vase cap failed. He also kept the thin sliver of orange glass that had been knocked off.

The first action for me was to fix the thin piece back in place with clear glue. Next, I tackled the loose pieces. I removed the old foil and added new copper foil to each one. Then I re-foiled the glass on the lamp that had lost its foil when it was damaged.

Next, the glass pieces were soldered back into place. The image shows the soldered pieces before they were blacked to blend in with the original colour.

This left the big, round hole where the vase cap should be (see main image).

I trimmed the old foil and solder from the edge of the vase cap to ensure it would sit well on the top of the lamp shade. New foil strips were added around both the inside of the vase cap and the glass at the top. Then the foil was thickly tinned with fresh solder to hold the two together.

Small strips of bent steel were soldered around the inside, connecting the vase cap with the shade even more securely. They were aligned with the joins in the glass to be as unobtrusive when the lamp was lit.

A final strip of copper foil was added around the outside of the vase cap. This was soldered carefully to the joints between each piece of glass to increase the strength of the join further.

So, this Tiffany lamp repair job was less about replacing broken glass and more about rebuilding and strengthening. Another smart refurbishment and another lamp saved to be enjoyed for many years ahead.

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