Category Archives: Uncurmudgeonized

Antique Stained Glass – Attack of the Clones

 

I have managed to get through two posts on antique stained glass without complaining, bloviating or pontificating.  Someone noticed this beatific attitude and wondered if I, as a curmudgeon, was ill.  Not to worry.  A three word phrase has gotten me back to angst and teeth-gnashing:

“Tiffany style lamp”

Why would something as decorative and pleasant as Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass get me so worked up?  Well, peruse any antique or collectable store or any online service like Ebay, Overstock or Wayfair and you will find this overworked and misused phrase on anything resembling a lamp with colored glass in it.

Tiffany style lamp?

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No.

Tiffany style lamp?

AnSGtfc2

No!

Tiffany style lamp?

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Hell No!

So what do I, as the main bloviator, pontificator, and stained glass snob, deem a “Tiffany style lamp?”  It would be a reproduction of one of the lamps in an official Tiffany collection.  Specifically, it would be one of the lamps in the collection of Dr. Egon Neustadt and his wife Hildegard.

Never heard of Egon Neustadt?  Dr. Neustadt, an immigrant from Austria, purchased his first Tiffany lamp in 1935 for $12.50 (!) and went on to amass the largest and most comprehensive Tiffany lamp collection ever assembled.  See the Neustadt Collection.  Exhibits of the lamps are shown at the Queens Museum in New York City and travel to other museums throughout the United States.  If you love Tiffany lamps, you should go to one of these exhibits and also get Dr. Egon Neustadt’s book The Lamps of Tiffany.

Tiffany style lamp?

AnSGtfc4

Yes!

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Antique Stained Glass (continued)

The next three pieces of antique stained glass sit in our dining room.  The Chandelier and accompanying grape and leaves window appear, at first blush, to be made by the same maker.  In fact, I bought the chandelier (which I believe dates back to the 1920’s or 1930’s) first and then, twenty five years later, came across the window.  Both come from the Northeast (Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively) and are close enough in design to be a match.

AnSW chandelier

AnSW grapes

The third item in the dining room is a stained glass fireplace screen dating to the 1880’s.

AnSW fireplace

It has chunk glass and jeweled bevels intermixed on the lower right mixed with stained glass mostly on the upper left.  It sits in an ornate brass frame.   Here is some detail from the fireplace screen:

AnSW fireplace screen detail1

A similar piece appears on page 3 of Great Glass in American Architecture by H. Weber Wilson.

If you love (or just like) antique stained glass, here are a few websites of dealers who I have found to have exceptional pieces:

Wooden Nickel Antiques, Cincinnati, OH http://woodennickelantiques.net/stained-glass/

Soll’s Antiques, Camden, ME https://www.ebay.com/usr/cantiq307

American Antique Stained Glass Windows, somewhere in northeastern Oregon http://www.antiqueamericanstainedglasswindows.com/

Oley Valley Architectural Antiques Inc., Denver, PA https://www.oleyvalley.com/antiques/windows-stained-beveled-glass/

Antique Stained Glass

I have a small, but interesting, collection of antique stained glass which I have collected over the last thirty years.  Although amounting to only seven pieces (five windows, a chandelier and a lamp), the collection is eclectic and each piece has a history.  For example, as I will explain, the chandelier and one window go together even though they were bought about 25 years apart.

Just like my earlier post on the decay of post offices, railroad stations and light houses (see Going Postal), antique American stained glass suffers from neglect, urban renewal (or urban removal, as I call it) and changing modern tastes.  The mid-20th century modernistic movement was a direct attack on all things ornate – whether Victorian, Art Deco or Art Nouveau.  As a result, many wonderful pieces of antique stained glass found their way to the garbage heap.  Fortunately, pickers, collectors and preservers managed to keep others from destruction.

One of the first pieces I collected came from the aptly named Thieves Market in Alexandria, Virginia.  The entranceway greeter was an old fortune teller machine and the rest of the “market” was a labyrinthine maze of dead ends and rabbit holes.  When Thieves Market closed for business, they sold the stained glass hanging above their auction floor, among them two pieces from a Victorian house dating from the late 19th century in Northeast Washington, DC.  I did snag the back door transom (shown) but passed on the accompanying front door transom because it said “704” and I never lived at a residence numbered 704.

AnSW transom

The next piece (actually a set of windows) came from an antique dealer from Ohio who dealt mainly in jewelry,  She bought the matched windows as a present for her daughter but the windows did not fit in her daughter’s house (fortunately for me).

AnSW kit2

Here is some of the detail from one of the windows:

AnSW kit detail

The dealer said the windows were from a house in Cincinnati in the early 20th century and mentioned Third Street Studios.  Thanks to Wooden Nickel Antiques in Cincinnati, Ohio, I found out that Third Street Studios is not the name of a single glass studio but a name coined in the 1980’s by a dealer for stained glass makers from the Third Street area of Cincinnati dating to the late 19th and early 20th century.  The matched set was originally placed as a hinged set in the dining room of an elaborate house at the turn of the 20th century.  The hinges and locks have been removed but you can still see where they existed.  You can find more on Third Street Studios in Cincinnati Magazine May 2002 starting on page 80.

(to be continued…)

 

Our Sweet Yorkie

We have a pleasant Yorkie, a likable, lovable, spoiled little seven pound creature.  An affectionate doggie who loves to cuddle and play and look cute.

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She likes to spend the day nestled in your lap when, without warning, she

FARTS!

How badly does she fart, you might ask?  Badly enough to knock a buzzard off an open garbage truck.  Badly enough to call out an emergency hazmat team.  Badly enough to make your eyes water, your nose run and your skin itch.  THAT’s how badly she farts.  Her farts are thermonuclear.  Actually, they are more akin to a neutron bomb in that they are stealth farts.  They do their damage without leaving any trace or registering on any seismic device.  It is inconceivable that such a small creature can wreak such olfactory havoc.

Not only does she fart spectacularly but she has the audacity to act as though someone else had performed the dirty deed.  She jumps off your lap and looks around in amazement like a little girl caught in the act of breaking mommy’s vase and pretending it was done by her bad brother.  (Our doggie has no brother, bad or otherwise, so the culprit must be a squirrel or a sparrow or maybe the mailman.)

Now such vile activity in a somewhat larger animal – a Saint Bernard or an English Mastiff or a Great Dane  – might be understandable, though not any more pleasant, but a seven pound Yorkie?!  Pound for pound this has to be one of the most intense effusions of odor imaginable.  If this odor was pleasant rather than, well, odoriferous, I could foresee bottling it as Chanel Yorkie, rather than as something best called Essence of Open Sewer Rotting Fish.

Now you might think our doggie is offended by being described as a broken septic field on four paws.  Not at all.  She is, this very moment, waiting to jump back in my lap, nestle down and…

Our sweet yorkie

I am holding my breath.

Toilets for the Half-Assed

 

I am once again indebted to A Frank Angle for the inspiration (if you want to call it that) for this post.  He noticed that a number of my headers featured toilets that were, for lack of a better phrase, architecturally challenged.  It turns out that there is no limit to the questionable ways that people will install a device of necessity in the home.  Whoever said “Don’t start vast plans with half-vast ideas” never encountered these half-assed plans.  To wit:

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Someone told the contractor that they wanted a Jack-and-Jill bathroom to be shared between two bedrooms.

 

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Why should the inconvenience of a small house restrict you from having a full-sized toilet?

 

Toilet window

Nothing says luxury like a toilet with a view through a sliding glass door.

 

Toilet paper in tub

The soap dish in your tub can serve as both a soap dispenser and a toilet paper dispenser.  It’s that waterproof toilet paper though that makes this plan so costly.

 

Stained glass toilet

When visitors arrive at your house, especially after a long ride, they often first ask to use the loo.  With this design, you need not worry about complicated directions to get to the facilities.  The full length (see through) stained glass window is an extra added touch.

 

Dining room toilet

No longer will you have to interrupt dinner conversations when one of your guests needs to use the bathroom.  It’s right there within earshot.

I admit that the last idea is not one that actually exists (yet) but originated with none other than Homer Simpson.  You’re sitting comfortably on the back patio, having a nice glass or two of wine in your wine seat when nature unexpectedly calls.  Why go through the effort of finding the facilities when, with a little modification, you can conveniently stay in place and, in the words of Homer, “Let ‘er rip.”

wine seat     wine toilet seat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I gotta go.