Lot 334
  • 334

Tiffany Studios

400,000 - 600,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany Studios
  • “Magnolia” Floor Lamp
  • shade impressed TIFFANY STVDIOS N.Y. 1599
  • leaded glass and gilt bronze
with a "Chased Pod" Senior floor lamp base and a "Pig Tail" finial


Private Collection, Massachusetts, circa 1920
Thence by descent
Lillian Nassau, New York, 2008


Dr. Egon Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, p. 36
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany at Auction, New York, 1981, pp. 72 (for the shade model) and 104
William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, p. 100
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 92-95
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, p. 203

Catalogue Note

As a horticulturist in the tradition of John Ruskin and the natural garden, Louis Comfort Tiffany espoused the cultivation of native trees and flowers.  He rhapsodized about his own efforts at Laurelton Hall and passionately described his “love of these native woods.”  Like many of his generation, he opposed hothouse hybrids and disdained varieties with doubled blossoms and other artificial effects.  Ironically, the magnolia represented on this beautiful lampshade is not actually an American tree.  There is a native American species (magnolia grandiflora) but it is restricted to the warmer climate of the South and, among other characteristics, retains its leaves all year long.  The familiar type of magnolia represented on this lampshade, despite its wide cultivation throughout the United States, was native to Asia, was hybridized by French horticulturists, and subsequently imported into the United States.  A welcome harbinger of Spring, it has the distinctive characteristic of first sending out blossoms and only later, after the flowers have opened, do its green leaves begin to appear.  That is the stage featured in this design.

Flowering magnolias adorned many of the domestic leaded glass windows that Tiffany Studios created at the turn of the century. Agnes Northrop, whose specialty was such floral subjects, had photographs of these blossoms and made quite beautiful watercolor renderings of them—images that helped her render these flowers and branches with accuracy and grace.  Only later did the designers in the lamp department adapt this motif for lamps.  This 28-inch domed Magnolia shade is the largest model that Tiffany Studios produced, and the naturally large magnolia blossoms are well suited to the ample scale of this form.  The model was introduced some time after the fall 1906 Price List was issued, and before the fall 1910 edition appeared.  Unlike so many other lamp designs, the Magnolia then remained in production until 1924.  Its endurance is probably to be explained not only by the sheer splendor of the design, but also by the general usefulness of large floor lamps: the large, open dome supplies an ample source of practical illumination.