The Stiffel Lamp Company, founded in Chicago in 1932 by Ted Stiffel, sought to use a variety of metals and creative designs in the lamps. The trademark feature of Stiffel lamps is a foil signature and a combination of metal and other materials in the composition of the lamp. However, due to reproductions and the use of labels that can fall off or be removed, it can be somewhat tricky to identify a Stiffel lamp mark.
Look for the “Stiffel Lamp Company” foil signature, which may be attached to the lamp or lampshade. However, this foil signature has fallen off many of the older lamps and may not be intact.
Examine the lamp case carefully for the words “Stiffel Lamp Company” or “SLC.”
Unscrew the base of the lamp and look inside of the base for a maker’s mark or signature that says “Stiffel Lamp Company” or “SLC.”
Look for common combinations of metals and wood on Stiffel lamps, such as pewter and walnut or other metals with wood, such as brass or bronze.
View reference books for detailed pictures and information about antique lamps, such as Stiffel lamps, at your local library or bookstore. Examples of reference books include “Antique Lamp Buyer’s Guide: Identifying Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Lighting” by Nadja Maril and “Antique Trader Lamps & Lighting Price Guide” by Kyle Husfloen.
Find online photos of Stiffel lamps to familiarize yourself with the look, feel and design of Stiffel lamps. Examples of websites include Passion for the Past Antiques, Joseph Marc and eBay (see Resources).
Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.