For sale is a lovely table lamp made by The Phoenix Glass Company of Monaca, PA. The lamp is called a "Scenic Reverse Painted" table lamp. The lamp is quite large as it stands 22 1/2" tall and is 18" in diameter.
The shade depicts a beautiful lake scene with a summer home along a dirt road with other small cottages in the background along the shoreline. Looking further into the reverse painting this scene is set against a long lake with mountains in the background and a beautiful daytime sky. The colors are vivid and quite detailed. The pictures speak for themselves. This is one of Phoenix's nicest and hardest to find patterns.
The base itself is one of Phoenix's classic handled Grecian Urn lamp bases. The metal is a very heavy cast zinc. It displays a very deep rich green with black highlights patina. It has a nice large round foot or base for stability. It has 2 round ball pull chain sockets that are in fine working order. They are each signed "Arrow" on the outside casings. This lamp has been professionally rewired with the antique style brown rayon lamp cord. It still retains its original plug and has been tested for use and works just fine.
This lamp is considered to be in excellent condition as the Reverse Painted shade has no nicks, chips or cracks. The base is in equal condition as there are no major dents or dings to the metal. The patina on the top heat cap shows typical age wear as does areas along the bottom of the base. Overall this base would be considered very good to excellent. I really don't see any paint loss on the shade and if there is, it is quite minimal.
The lamp is not signed but is a well known Phoenix Reverse painted lamp and can be referenced in the book "Quality Electric Lamps" by L-W Book Sales. Similar lamps are pictured from pages 122-130. This exact one is not pictured but you will notice the same heat cap and finial on several of the lamps. The one on this lamp I am selling is an earlier version that Phoenix used. They switched to the flower finial in later productions.
There is very little information on The Phoenix Lamp Company's reverse painted lamp history. Phoenix started making glass in 1880. Here is a chance to own a fine piece of early American lighting for a lot less than a Handel or Pairpoint reverse painted lamp of similar quality. I believe this lamp was made circa 1920-1930.
To understand reverse painted lamps means exactly as it sounds, "reverse paint". When one learns how to paint on oil or board they are taught to paint the background and then go to the foreground. When you paint on glass blanks for lighting it was the reverse of this. One would have to paint the foreground and then go to the background from the inside of the shade. This was simply because when the light was on you would be looking through the glass and the foreground is the first thing you see. You can take the most gifted artist and it is very challenging to paint in this method.
This lamp will have to be shipped in 2 boxes. It is also quite heavy as it weighs 13 3/4 lbs without any boxing