Lot 244
  • 244

Tiffany Studios

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 USD
Sold
760,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Tiffany Studios
  • A Rare "Pebble" Table Lamp
  • underside of oil font impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/21550 with the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company monogram
  • quartz pebbles, leaded glass, favrile glass, and patinated bronze
  • 15 in. (38.1 cm) high
    14 3/8  in. (36.5 cm) diameter of shade
with a "Pumpkin" base with pebble decoration

Provenance

Private Collection, Connecticut
Macklowe Gallery, New York, 1983

Literature

William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, pp. 96-97 (for the present example illustrated)
Jacob Baal-Teshuva, Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2001, p. 221
Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 319 
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, p. 42, no. 143 (for the present example illustrated) and p. 140 (for a period photograph of the model)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 14-15

Catalogue Note

The artful design and construction of the present lamp incorporate both Tiffany’s love of the natural world and his interest in conventionalized forms.  The use of natural pebbles immediately imbues the lamp with a rich, organic quality.  As embellishments on the base, the pebbles create visual harmony between the highly controlled twisted bronze decoration of the base collar and the charming, natural irregularities of the shade.  The pebbles also function as the artistic medium to devise the shade’s subtle, simplified floral scheme.  In using an imperfect, organic material to construct an abstract, stylized pattern, Tiffany gives order to the seemingly disordered.

The success of this design is thanks to the extraordinary craftsmanship evident throughout the lamp.  For instance, where a commercially-produced spherical glass base might have been sufficient, Tiffany instead chose to produce a more naturalistic hand-blown favrile glass base, which further required the bronze collar to be custom fit to conform to its gently undulating surface.  The firm's resources and confidence to invest in experimentation for such an elaborate, labor-intensive design were likely a byproduct of the early success of Tiffany’s leaded glass lamps.  Thus, the “Pebble” model in many ways represents Tiffany’s most closely-held ideals, from naturalism and aesthetics to artistry and innovation.
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