Lot 3
  • 3

Tiffany Studios

15,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany Studios
  • "Saxifrage" Candlestick
  • patinated bronze


Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 353
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, p. 387, no. 1579

Catalogue Note

Nature was seen as an unending source of inspiration for designers at the turn of the century—not only for flat or modeled patterns, but also as the very forms of the objects.  Unlike France, where this became a concerted movement, the United States embraced the idea with slightly less vigor, but Tiffany, of course, was the exception.  He and his staff designers often emulated plant forms for metalwares, enamels, and pottery.  This candlestick in the form a saxifrage plant exemplifies his nature-based program.  A cluster of leaves form the base, a corded stem twists slightly upward, and a cluster of flowers act as the candle cup.  Similarly, Queen Anne’s lace inspired other candlestick designs.

Who designed such candlesticks?  Whereas they were produced at the bronze foundry in Corona, which was a male domain, the Tiffany Girls may have had a hand in their design.  In Clara Driscoll’s letters there are a number of references to her carving models for nature-based objects to be cast in bronze, and Lillian Palmié carved the wax model for a Queen Anne’s lace candlestick.  Equally intriguing is the question of when this model was introduced.  It was listed in the 1906 Price List (model 1331), but these two candlesticks suggest that the design extends back even earlier.  One is wholly unmarked—not uncommon in the firm’s earliest works—and the other is stamped with just an early production number in the 13000 range.  Another indication of their early production is the way the components were conceived.  Not only are the candle cup, stem, and leafy base separate parts but the base is composed of two rings, each with nine separate leaves.  Such elaborate construction is typical of other early Tiffany Studios products.

—Martin Eidelberg