Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Toronto Star reporter.
May 21, 2011
(A reader asks)
Q: This unusual bat fixture hung in the front hall of my grandparent's home in Peterborough.
The house dates back to 1870, but I am not sure if the fixture was original to the house. The fixture is brass-plated and has no identifying marks. The bat measures 53cm (21inches) wing tip to wing tip, and 56cm (22inches) from top to bottom. When the light is on, it casts a long winged shadow on the ceiling. No one in the family wants to sue the fixture in their homes nor does anyone want to part with it.
We would appreciate any information about it age, place of manufacture and current price.
Betty, Peterborough Ontario.
A: Because so many have a bat phobia, it is easy to understand why your relatives do not want this ceiling fixture. But any enthusiast of the rare and wondrous would be thrilled to have this piece.
Your fixture could have been made by German manufacturer Franz Stubgen, a specialist in metal items including lamps. His company logo is a Fledermaus (German for bat) and was registered in 1892. But I suspect it's more likely this piece was made in the U.S. in the early 1900's.
Your lamp would have a shade covering the light bulb and a suitable one from the period could be found easily . The fact your bat light is the original, functioning and a delightful conversation piece adds up to a sure value of $1,000 plus.