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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED BRAZILIAN FAMILY

Tiffany Studios
AN IMPORTANT "ELABORATE PEONY" TABLE LAMP
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 735,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
311

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED BRAZILIAN FAMILY

Tiffany Studios
AN IMPORTANT "ELABORATE PEONY" TABLE LAMP
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 735,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Design

|
New York

Tiffany Studios
AN IMPORTANT "ELABORATE PEONY" TABLE LAMP
with a "Roman" base
shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1903
base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/529
leaded glass, patinated bronze
31 3/4  in. (80.6 cm) high
22 1/4  in. (56.5 cm) diameter of shade
circa 1910
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

William Edward Lee, Brazil, circa 1910
By descent to Eduardo Braga Lee (son of William Edward Lee), São Paulo, 1934
By descent to Myriam Lee (widow of Eduardo Braga Lee), São Paulo, 1960
By descent to the present owner, São Paulo, 2017 

Literature

William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, pp. 32-33 (for the shade model)
Alastair Duncan, Martin Eidelberg and Neil Harris, Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany, London, 1989, p. 108 (for the shade model)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 154 and 156 (for the shade model)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, pp. 103 (for the base model) and 182 (for the shade model)

Catalogue Note

This “Elaborate Peony” Table Lamp hails from a distinguished Brazilian family whose heritage lies in preserving a legacy of taste and refinement. A sage saying has been passed down through the generations: “After a great defeat, always be able to play a piano; after all, you will never know when it will be necessary to rebuild your life.” Indeed, every member of the family was required to learn the piano at a renowned conservatory, thereby learning the grace and sophistication of their forebearers and inheriting an asset that would stay with them irrespective of their material possessions.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the patriarch of the family extended this tradition to the tangible, bequeathing upon his four children “the essential heirlooms of a family.” Each child thereby received a piano from Steinway & Sons, a painting by Pablo Picasso, and a lamp from Tiffany Studios. With the exception of the pianos, the whereabouts of these gifts was thought to have been lost to time. The present sale, however, sees the reemergence of one of these children’s Tiffany lamps, enabling the realization of the next chapter of this family’s lore through a new lens.

The peony blossom, with its extraordinary lushness and variation in color palette, was the ideal subject for Tiffany’s leaded glass shades. The firm produced several variations of the floral motif, highlighting Tiffany’s admiration for this springtime flower. The many delicate layers of petals depicted in the “Elaborate Peony”—the most complex and naturalistic of the firm’s peony shade variants—features both full, mature blossoms and young, not-yet-bloomed buds, which punctuate the overall composition. Depicting both the fully-bloomed and yet-to-bloom flower imbues the composition with a wonderful Impressionistic quality, as if to capture a single, fleeting moment in nature.

The present Elaborate Peony example is a tour de force, exemplifying Tiffany’s unparalleled ability as a colorist. Tiffany’s craftsmen often surpassed the colors found in nature when executing peony shades, using a range of predominantly pink glass, but the present shade stands apart. Here, luscious hues of magenta, fuschia, deep red, and soft pink combine with lavender, indigo, and violet to bring the peony blossoms to life. They are set against a background of cobalt and azure blue, creating an exceptionally rich display of favrile glass.

Important Design

|
New York