Following World War I was a period of tremendous growth. The economy was roaring and the company had assembled a very impressive and talented group of artists and craftsmen. However, the Great Depression drastically changed the company's fortunes and by 1929 the company was struggling. The Handel Lamp Company ceased production completely in 1936. The Handel Lamp Company was the very finest maker of reverse-painted lamps. Handel also made some leaded glass lamps. The Handel Lamp Company is a prime example of fine American quality craftsmanship.
Handel lamp bases were most commonly made of a zinc alloy, spelter with a bronze patina or finish. Some were made of genuine bronze. The marking was commonly the Handel Lamp Company name on the bottom of the base. The markings consisted of raised letters and/or a label. Sometimes the marking would be underneath the base or sometimes on top of the the base. Lamp shades were marked on metal components and/or on the glass itself. Some of the glass pieces are signed by the artists.
Many of the medium to larger Handel lamp bases were wired with multiple sockets which were operated by pull chains that had small and various shaped pull balls on the ends of the chain.
It has long been a common practice to match slag glass lamp shades, Tiffany type shades and others to various lamp bases that were not the original. Another common practice has been to place an unsigned shade on a signed Handel lamp base and pass the entire lamp off as a "Handel". Many, if not most, lamps and shades are referred to as Handel lamps simply because the style is similar to that of an original Handel lamp. Experts today suggest that about 90% of all lamps called Handel were not actually made by Handel. There are many lamps that are signed but that are not authentic. Identification of Handel leaded lamps is a subjective process that few people are qualified to do.
Given the Handel Lamp Company's history it may be difficult to prove the negative: i.e. that a particular lamp is NOT a Handel. But as usual, money speaks and you will find that a Handel lamp and shade with correct markings, attributes and documentation commands a very premium price as compared to any lamp that is "attributed to Handel".
For instance, some of Handel's small and simple desk and simple piano lamps have recently sold for around $500. Generally the more complex ones sell for over $2,000. There are some rare ones that have sold for over $80,000.
Some Handel glass artists are highly regarded and their works bring a premium price. Their signatures can be seen on some Handel lamp shades. Among these Handel artists are Bailey, Bedigie, Broggi, Gubisch, Matzow, Palme, and Parlow and Runge.