Pairpoint Lamp Base

495

Here is a very nice and properly signed PAIRPOINT lamp base measuring 21. 5" high x 7". Good condition, low to sell at $495

"Be it known that I, ALBERT STEFFIN, a citizen of the United
States, residing at New Bedford. in the county of Bristol and State of
Massachusetts, have invented certain new and useful improvements in the
Manufacture of Glass Shades and Screens, of which the following is a
specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawing. The object of my
invention is to provide articles of different forms for different purposes, such
as shades for covering lamps and screens for admitting light which articles are
mad up of numerous pieces of molded glass, each piece of glass being shaped with
irregular raised surface, and the entire article being a harmonious combination
of the various molded pieces. . . "


Background and History
Pairpoint Manufacturing Company was established in 1880
in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The factory began as a metalworks which first
made fittings for coffins. Near the Pairpoint factory was the Mt. Washington
Glassworks which made fine glassware, and the two companies began exploring
synergies culminating in a merger in 1894. From the late 1890s until the 1930s,
lamps and lamp accessories were an important part of Pairpoint's production.
There were three main types of shades, all of which were blown: puffy -
blown-out reverse-painted shades (usually floral designs); ribbed - also reverse
painted; and scenic - reverse painted with scenes of land or seascapes (usually
executed on smooth surfaces, although ribbed scenics may be found occasionally).
Cut glass lamps and those with metal overlay panels were also made. Scenic
shades were sometimes artist signed. Most shades were stamped on the lower
inside or outside edge with either 1) The Pairpoint Corp. , 2) Patent Pending, 3)
Patented July 9, 1907, or 4) Patent Applied For. All Pairpoint shades were
frosted through an acid process prior to painting, and the reverse painted
effects required a great deal of talent on the part of the artist. Reverse
painting combined the skills of watercolor painting and glassmaking with a
perception of how light would play through the glass and paint when lit.

Bases were made of bronze,
copper, brass, silver, or wood, and are always signed. As with most all makers
of luxury goods, the company's sales lagged seriously during the Depression, and
over time they lost touch with the changing tastes and styles of the public to
some degree. Consequently, Pairpoint continued to experience financial
difficulties, and some buildings and equipment were sold in 1938. The company
reorganized in 1939 under the direction of Robert Gundersen and again
specialized in quality hand-blown glassware. Isaac Babbit regained possession of
the silver departments, and together they established Gundersen Glassworks, Inc.
Following the end of WWII and after a sharp decline in sales, it again became
necessary to reorganize yet again. The Gundersen-Pairpoint Glassworks was
formed, and the old line of cut, engraved artware was reintroduced. The company
moved to East Wareham, Massachusetts in 1957. Business continued to be poor, and
the firm closed early in 1958. In 1970, Robert Bryden, sales manager for the
company since the 1950s, tried to reestablish Pairpoint and new facilities were
constructed in Sagamore. In 1974, the company began to produce lead glass cup
plates which were made on commission as fund-raisers for various churches and
organizations. These are signed with a 'P' in diamond and are becoming quite
collectible.
The Pairpoint Manufacturing Company was established in 1880 in New Bedford,
MA. Producing coffin fittings and metalwork, Pairpoint approached its neighbor,
Mt. Washington Glassworks, about a possible merger. Combining metalwork and
glassware production in 1894, their merger created lamp and lamp accessories
including the well known Pairpoint lamps.