323
323

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT AMERICAN COLLECTION

Tiffany Studios
A RARE "POINSETTIA" FLOOR LAMP
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 795,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
323

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT AMERICAN COLLECTION

Tiffany Studios
A RARE "POINSETTIA" FLOOR LAMP
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 795,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Dreaming in Glass: Masterworks by Tiffany and La Farge

|
New York

Tiffany Studios
A RARE "POINSETTIA" FLOOR LAMP
with a "Scroll" Senior floor base and "Pig Tail" finial
shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK
base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/28623
leaded glass, patinated bronze
78 in. (198.1 cm) high
26 in. (66 cm) diameter of shade
circa 1910
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Private Collection
Christie's New York, December 10, 1998, lot 370

Literature

Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, p. 202 (for the shade)
Margaret K. Hofer and Rebecca Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, p. 133 (for the shade)

Catalogue Note

Poinsettias, a plant native to Mexico, were introduced to the United States in 1828 by Joel R. Poinsett (1779-1851), an amateur botanist who was America’s first Minister to Mexico and later became Secretary of War under Martin van Buren.  Because of their late blooming season, generally between October and January, and with their brilliant red bracts against vivid green leafage, the plant soon became associated with Christmas and became exceptionally popular in the United States. 

Tiffany, an expert botanist and brilliant marketer, took advantage of the Poinsettia’s appeal by using it for several models of lamp shades.  Surprisingly, examples of the design did not appear until around December 1908, when Tiffany Studios introduced the version as a large chandelier in a New York Times advertisement.  Not surprising is that the holiday connection was prominently promoted: “The ‘Poinsettia,’ executed like all the Tiffany Studios shades under the personal direction of Mr. Louis C. Tiffany, possesses a distinctive Christmas atmosphere.  Gives the rich reds and greens of the Poinsettia with remarkable fidelity.” Three years later, the company advertised the table lamp version as a “practical Christmas gift of permanent value” and “most acceptable as remembrances.”

The company made the shade in six different sizes, with diameters ranging from 14 to 26 inches.  The largest example with flowers covering its entirety, is supremely artistic as the example offered here clearly demonstrates.  The bracts of the poinsettias, depicted in various stages of growth, are in opalescent shades of ruby, crimson, scarlet and purple-streaked carmine.  The foliage, with finely leaded “veining,” is in various shades of green marbled with yellow and amber. 

Of particular note are the small central cyathias of the poinsettias, which are the actual flowering part of the plant.  Usually a plain yellow in nature, in this shade they are interpreted very differently, through the employment of sapphire-colored glass together with the highly unusual application of iridescent Favrile “Cypriote” glass.  The background is also exceptional, with its combination of opalescent, translucent and transparent yellow glass, much of it of the “foliage,” or “confetti,” variety with thin fractured shards of red, amber, green and white glass embedded on the interior surface.  The overall effect achieved by this rich and diverse glass selection transcends the model, imparting the shade with tremendous visual depth, tactility and movement.  All things considered, this stunning lamp is perhaps the finest example of the model to come onto the market in recent history.

—Paul Doros

Dreaming in Glass: Masterworks by Tiffany and La Farge

|
New York