See also : Glass and crystal
1900 Dandelion Lamp
2021 SOLD for $ 3.75M by Rago
In New York the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company develops various techniques for the growing market of the lighting. His very own recently patented favrile glass displaying bright colors in the bulk is awarded a Grand Prix at that Exposition. Tiffany operates also a production line for bronze casting, for enameling and will soon have one for ceramics.
The 75 cm high Dandelion lamp is one of the masterpieces conceived especially by Tiffany for the Paris Exposition. In 1901 it will also be displayed at the Pan American in Buffalo. At the same time in France, Gallé was inspired by all current forms of nature and highlighting a mere dandelion was in the fashion of the time.
The lamp is a glass globe 29 cm in diameter atop a tall and narrow copper base. It is not enameled and its technical feat is not in the blown white glass engraved with a flow of seeds but in the copper, intricately hammered with all the growing elements of a dandelion and displaying a variety of patinations by oxidizing.
The production process was time consuming. After making a replica of the dandelion, no other unit will be made. From 1901 the assembly of a shade with hundreds of small colored favrile plaques is the solution for developing the highly successful production line of the Tiffany lamps, farther from botanical realism but more appealing to the customers.
The original Dandelion lamp has just resurfaced. It was sold for $ 3.75M by Rago on May 13, 2021, lot 273 here linked on the LiveAuctioneers bidding platform.
Tiffany Studios Dandelion lamp, 1900, hand-blown Favrile glass & hammered & patinated copper, 29½" H x 11½" D, sold for $3,745,000 (est $50,000/75,000), setting a new auction record for a Tiffany Lamp https://t.co/GbVsxkrHkD #antiques #antique #vintage #Tiffany #lamp #lamps pic.twitter.com/BvfxkqWbzJ— Maine Antique Digest (@AntiqueDigest) July 30, 2021
1900-1902 Cobweb and Apple Blossom Lamp
2017 SOLD for $ 1.15M by Sotheby's
Tiffany takes a social risk and does not brag about it. The competition is tough and hostile between the men's workshop and the Tiffany Girls. The girls do not have the right to join unions and must leave the company when they get married.
The name of their workshop manager, Clara Driscoll, surfaced in 2006 after the discovery and study of her family correspondence. Tiffany had rehired this young widow after the temporary disappearance of a second suitor. Tiffany was lucky : Clara had great artistic skills.
Clara adapted the workshop to create naturalistic lampshades composed of a multitude of colored plates. Her name appears only once in period, in an article of the New York Daily News in 1904 : she is credited with the creation of the Dragonfly lamp which earned a bronze medal to the Tiffany Glass Company at the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1900.
Girls vary the design. Some early lamps also have a bulging glass body decorated in a mosaic pattern and framed by metal studs. The 61 cm high Cobweb and Apple Blossom table lamp belongs to that category. The spider webs set beautiful radiating areas around which the colors of the flowers are positioned elegantly.
This model is extremely rare, perhaps made obsolete after the development by the Tiffany Girls at the end of 1901 of the Wisteria lamp in which the extraordinary complexity of glass assembly is only applied to the lampshade.
On December 13, 2017, Sotheby's sold for $ 1.15M from a lower estimate of $ 700K a Cobweb and Apple Blossom table lamp made circa 1900 by Tiffany Studios, lot 222. The ante quem ending date attested by the monogram Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company stamped on its base is 1902.
The Cobweb lamp is made on a similar design. A 77 cm high electrified specimen was one of the two flagships from the Louis C. Tiffany Garden Museum collection in Matsue, Japan, discussed in this column before it was dispersed at auction by Michaan's in November 2012. The lampshade is entirely composed with webs and the body is decorated with wildflowers.
#AuctionUpdate Featuring a rare mosaic glass “Wheat” base, this important '"Cobweb and Apple Blossom" Table Lamp' brings $1.2 million. One of three known lamps executed in this intricate motif, the work highlights two of Tiffany’s most ubiquitous inspirations: insects & nature. pic.twitter.com/bTz6bz1Z7N— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) December 13, 2017
One down, two to go! #SothebysDesign's auctions continue in #NYC with 'Tiffany: Dreaming in Glass'. Join us now in our saleroom, and stay tuned for 'Masterworks by Tiffany Studios: The William A. Richardson Collection' immediately after: https://t.co/tobsWTHx4K pic.twitter.com/YmtpvKGO6r— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) December 13, 2017
1903 Pond Lily Lamp
2018 SOLD for $ 3.4M by Christie's
Trained as an artist, Tiffany is a great lover of gardens. The first release in his new line of products is the wisteria lamp, with an irregularly fringed lower edge that underlines the shape of the plants.
The Pond Lily lamp designed in 1902 is in line with another preference of Tiffany who maintained water gardens in his country estates. Its bell shaped shade is a technical feat because the upper part showing radiating stems on a blue background is an assembly made entirely of glass pieces not reinforced with bronze. Although it appears in the price list until 1906, it seems that its production has been stopped early.
14 lamps of this model have survived. One of them, with a 46 cm diameter lampshade and a 67 cm overall height, is particularly appealing in its colorful composition. It was sold for $ 3.4M from a lower estimate of $ 1.8M by Christie's on December 13, 2018, lot 9. Please watch the very short video shared by the auction house.
This unit is dated 1903 with a near certainty by the rare conjunction of the new Tiffany Studios New York trademark with their old system of nomenclature of the elements.
1903 Trumpet Creeper Lamp
2018 SOLD for $ 2.3M by Sotheby's
In 1901 he entrusts the realization of lampshades in favrile glass to his Women's Glass Cutting Department. The shade will then be mounted on a bronze base. The whole will display exquisite floral patterns.
The wisteria lamp demonstrates the feasibility of the project. On a flared bell shaped wooden mould, the Tiffany Girls assemble about 2,000 tiles in all colors, with a fringed lower edge that underlines the descending bunches of flowers. Bronze vine shoots provide the rigidity to this fragile form.
The mould of the wisteria lamp is then used with other color combinations composed of bigger tiles. The diversified offering now includes Trumpet Creeper, Grape and Apple Blossom shades. Three of these four variants illustrate vines, obviously matching a botanical preference of the boss.
For each model, the units are distinguished from each other by the small details of their color schemes. The passion of the amateurs generates now the diversity of the auction prices.
Made around 1905, a wisteria lamp with gradual luminous colors was sold twice by Sotheby's : for $ 1.57M on December 18, 2013 from a lower estimate of $ 600K and for $ 950K on December 12, 2018, lot 326.
The same 2018 sale also listed a rare Trumpet Creeper lamp made around 1903, sold for $ 2.3M from a lower estimate of $ 800K, lot 327.
1901-1906 Wisteria Lamp
2013 SOLD for $ 1.57M by Sotheby's
2023 for sale on December 6 by Sotheby's
Designed in 1901 by Clara Driscoll, this model is inspired by botany. The foot looks like a gnarled trunk extended with protruding roots, and the bell shaped shade falls in hemmed clusters like a wisteria. Auction catalogs generally date these productions circa 1905.
For the Wisteria lamp and similar models, the units are distinguished from each other by the small details of their individually selected color schemes.
Made around 1905, a wisteria lamp with gradual luminous colors including deep cobalt blue was sold for $ 1.57M by Sotheby's on December 18, 2013, lot 330 and for $ 950K on December 12, 2018, lot 326. It will be sold by the same auction house on December 6, 2023, lot 216.
2014 SOLD for $ 1.2M by Sotheby's
The team of the Tiffany Girls is responsible for preparing and cutting the glass plates. It is operated by Clara Driscoll, whose designing skill was decisive for the development of the most complex and most beautiful shades of Tiffany Studios.
For the fall of 1901, the Wisteria table lamp is ready for commercial release. Its most innovative feature is the elegantly irregular edge of its shade which was inspired by the wisteria. The individual assembly of about 2000 colored elements is a feat of craftsmanship.
The larger Wisteria, 18 inches in diameter, was the most prestigious model offered by Tiffany Studios, although they also produced larger shades for the Cherry Tree and Dragonfly lamps.
Collecting can provide an intense joy. Sandra van den Broek, who specialized in Tiffany lamps, bought several years apart in different circumstances two Wisteria 18" lamps that had an adjacent serial number, and the characteristics of the colored elements showed that they had been cut on the same glass plates.
On December 17, 2014, Sotheby's sells seven lamps which had belonged to van den Broek. Both Wisterias are sold separately, which is not a nonsense since they were not intended to be used as pairs. Each Wisteria was estimated $ 700K, lots 215 and 216. This model was available from 1901 to 1906. The Tiffany number does not enable to identify a more specific date.
Lot 216 was sold for $ 1.2M and lot 215 for $ 1.15M.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's for introducing the sale:
1905 Fire Screen
2007 SOLD for $ 1.67M by Christie's
Its glass pattern is a chain mail with gilt details.
It had been originally placed in the home of an architect who was a disciple of Louis Sullivan.
Pink Lotus Lamp
1997 SOLD for $ 2.8M by Christie's
It is 88 cm high with a globe shaped shade 71 cm in diameter decorated by a frieze of waterlily blossoms in a high variety of favrile colors. The leaves are in a green tesserae mosaic. The bronze tendrils support and stiffen the mounting.
The bronze base is stamped Tiffany Studios New York 352, which is consistent with the three digit configuration reference used by that brand from 1903.
1915 Peony Lamp
2009 SOLD for $ 1.54M by Christie's
1915 Kissena Landscape Window
2021 SOLD for $ 1.47M by Christie's
Agnes Northrop was talented in sketching landscapes and flowers. She was a frequent visitor of the nursery and had a very long career with Tiffany, starting as early as 1894, the year when the Favrile was patented. Tiffany granted her a separate studio for the preparation of the landscape windows.
On May 26, 2021, Christie's sold a window made ca 1915 by Tiffany Studios for $ 1.47M from a lower estimate of $ 600K, lot 114. It certainly had been commissioned by Parsons Jr who was its first owner.
This piece in leaded and plated Favrile glass 68 x 122 cm displays a landscape with a brook and a lake, with rare blossoms in the foreground in the style of Northrop. They include magnolias which had been one of the top specialties of Parsons Sr. Some fruits refer to early spring. The view is certainly of Kissena although it has not been formally verified.
Interestingly a collection of 22 photos made by Northrop for Tiffany, sold for $ 23.7K as lot 128 in the same sale, includes some magnolias. The other blossoms featured in the foreground of the window are hydrangeas and azaleas.
This window displays the Tiffany capabilities at their best. The wide range of bright colors vary under lighting, a special effect from the iridescent bulk specific to the Favrile.