The Handle Company
There were a number of companies making beautiful lamps in the late 1890s and early 1900s, including Handel of Meriden, Connecticut. Handel actually began in 1885 as a partnership between Philip J. Handel and Adolph Eydam. They opened a showroom in New York in 1890 where their products were displayed. Handel bought his partner out in 1893, and changed the name of the business to Handel & Company in 1898. By 1903, the name had changed again to The Handel Company.
Handel’s wife, Fannie, ran the business after his death in 1914. William H. Handel, Philip’s cousin, took over after Fannie stepped down in 1919. In 1936 the company closed the New York showroom, and by 1941 they were officially out of business.
Handel opened its showroom in New York in 1890, and in 1904 produced its first leaded glass lamps akin to those being made by Tiffany during the same period. However, Handel is most noted for its reverse painted, leaded and “Teroca” shades. “Teroca” shades are more commonly referred to as “Handel Overlay style.” The Overlay shades were usually made with slag-glass, and came in an array of beautiful colors with metal overlays in varying patterns. Handel wasn’t the only company making this type of metal overlay shade at the time, but theirs are among the very best. Handel created and produced some of the most beautiful and desirable lamps collectors seek today.
The Overlay shades were usually made with slag-glass, and came in an array of beautiful colors with metal overlays in varying patterns.
Handel manufactured a variety of metal bases. These bases were often mixed and matched with a variety of shades through the selection and desire of the customer and their personal preference. Most bases or sconces are embossed and marked in various locations on the base with the HANDEL name. These original bases are naturally a great compliment to the beauty of the shades. Many shades are marked on the “fitter ring” with HANDEL LAMPS PAT’D NO. 924457 or 979664. Various shades are marked with a stamping with the HANDEL name on the fitter or tagged with the HANDEL name attached on the inside of the shade. If your lamp has one of these marks then you almost certainly have an authentic Handel lamp.