Lot 201
  • 201

Tiffany Studios

25,000 - 35,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany Studios
  • A Rare "Turtle-Back" Inkstand
  • favrile glass and patinated bronze with an interior patinated metal liner and clear glass inkwell


Harry Martin, New York, NY, circa 1950
Thence by descent to the present owner, 1963

Catalogue Note

While the present lot falls undoubtedly within Tiffany’s “fancy goods” production, this inkstand is characterized as much by its thoughtful engineering and architectonic sensibility as by its richly iridized Turtle-Back decorations and charming scale.  Pulling down on the hinged front door reveals the interior inkwell, which is supported by a “gimbal” mechanism.   This clever design employs gravity to keep the inkwell level while the door is opening and closing.  With the present lot, the ingenuity and rarity of this particular Tiffany model is enriched by its meaningful provenance.  Harry Martin, who acquired this inkstand in the 1950s, would have delighted in its intelligent construction:  he was himself an accomplished inventor of small mechanical objects and chemical compounds.  The inkstand has descended to Martin’s daughter.  To date only one other example of this exceedingly rare model has appeared at auction, sold at Sotheby’s in March 2005 from the Estate of Cecile Singer (lot 80).