Lot 330
  • 330

Tiffany Studios

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • Tiffany Studios
  • "Wisteria" Table Lamp
  • shade with small early tag impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK
    underside of bronze armature on shade impressed 10116
    top of base standard impressed 10116
    base plate impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/10116
    outer perimeter edge of underbase impressed 10116 and   
  • leaded glass and patinated bronze


Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain, acquired circa 1975
Thence by descent to the present owner


Overall in very good condition. The shade and base are both impressed with the firm's production number, 10116, reinforcing that both components originated together from the time of manufacture. The shade with approximately 25 cracks to the glass tiles dispersed throughout, which is a relatively low number in proportion to the vast number of glass tiles which were required to execute this complex and monumental shade. All of these hairline cracks appear stable. The shade with surface soiling to the recessed folds of the glass and to the recessed contours of the shade leading. As is commonly seen with the "Wisteria" model, a few of the lower panicles along the bottom irregular border are very subtly bent inward. These elements all appear stable. The top bronze armature of the shade and lower branching is finely cast and displays an exceptionally rich green and russet brown patina. With some gentle rubbing to the high points of the top reticulated shade armature. The bronze branching incorporated throughout the top register of the shade is highly sculptural and tactile, and adds great visual interest and dimension to the lamp. With some light surface soiling to the recessed contours of the top shade armature, and along the recessed contours of the shade leading. The "Tree" base displays an exceptionally rich and satisfying green patina with russet brown highlights. The base also displays exceptional quality to the casting, and the branching on the lower cushion is particularly sculptural and well defined. The patinated surfaces of the base with some occasional light surface scratches, abrasions and gentle rubbing, and with some light surface soiling to the recessed contours of the branching consistent with age and gentle use. The base retains its original bronze decorative switch, which is fully functional as a two-way switch. All four electrical sockets appear to be original and undisturbed. The lamp displays beautifully in person with strong visual presence. The glass selection is highly artistic and thoughtful, displaying a heavily saturated and well-varied color palette. The wisteria blossoms are articulated in a full range of deep cobalt blues hues, and the lower panicles are selectively accented with a rich jewel-toned aqua. The thoughtful glass selection effectively evokes the feeling of dripping Wisteria blossoms, and the composition is lyrical and full of movement. An outstanding example of this iconic model.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

The “Wisteria” lamp model is one of the most iconic lamp designs produced by Tiffany Studios.  Its complex pattern is comprised of nearly 2,000 pieces of glass that had to be individually selected and cut.  Consequently, each "Wisteria" lamp possesses its own distinct color variations.  This particular example has an exquisite range of deep cobalt blue glass, and the lower panicles are selectively accented in rich jewel-toned aqua.  The overall effect achieved by the glass selection is lyrical and full of movement, capturing the lushness of the wisteria vine in bloom.  The shade and base are both impressed with the firm’s production number, 10116, reinforcing that both components originated together from the time of manufacture. 

In 1906, the price for a "Wisteria" lamp was $400.00, making it one of the more expensive lamps in Tiffany’s line.  As revered as this luxury item was in the period, the "Wisteria" lamp is now widely recognized as an icon of American design and one of Tiffany Studios’ most accomplished masterworks in leaded glass.  The fully saturated and artistic glass selection of the present example distinguishes it as one of the finest examples ever to appear on the auction market.