Lot 32
  • 32

TIFFANY STUDIOS | A Rare “Rambling Rose” Table Lamp

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Tiffany Studios
  • A Rare “Rambling Rose” Table Lamp
  • base and oil canister each impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/149
  • leaded glass, mosaic favrile glass, patinated bronze
  • 18 1/2  in. (47 cm) high16 1/2  in. (41.9 cm) diameter of shade
  • circa 1905-1910
with a rare mosaic gourd-form base


For the shade:
Digby Anstalt, Hamburg, Germany
J. Alastair Duncan Ltd., New York, 2002
For the base:
Christie's New York, June 11, 1999, lot 116


Alastair Duncan, Tiffany at Auction, New York, 1981, p. 97 (for the shade)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, p. 22, no. 42 (for the base)


Overall very good condition. This shade is distinguished by a highly artistic glass selection featuring complex “confetti” glass (also known as “fractured” glass) in the background passages, which imparts the lamp with strong pictorial depth and visual movement. When viewed firsthand, the glass displays bright and vibrant shades of pink and coral with slightly stronger accents of violent and lavender compared to the printed catalogue illustration. The shade with approximately 11 hairline cracks dispersed throughout, which have been sensitively stabilized by a professional glass conservator. The shade with some light surface soiling throughout concentrated to the contours adjacent to the leadlines. Approximately 8 tiles in the lower geometric border appear to have been replaced with well-matching complementary glass. The mosaic base is in very good condition, displaying a beautifully articulated gradation from bright apple green at the top of the base to deep greens and blues toward the bottom. The base appears to retain all of its original mosaic glass; some of the glass tiles appear to have been stabilized in the past. The mosaic tiles with some occasional scattered hairline cracks and occasional minute edge flecks which have been sensitively stabilized by a professional Tiffany conservator. The base with some light surface soiling consistent with age. The bronze elements of the base with scattered minor surface scratches, abrasions and rubbing consistent with age and handling. The sockets and paddle switches appear original and undisturbed. With a period finial in very good condition with some light rubbing to the patina. A stunning example of this rare and complex shade design, highlighting Tiffany’s interest in naturalism and mastery of both leaded and mosaic glass.
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

One of Louis C. Tiffany’s favorite flowers was the rose and he displayed it prominently at his estates. At Laurelton Hall, the greenhouses were replete with “orderly benches of rich moist earth where thrive roses.” Even more impressive was his circular rose garden at “The Briars,” his previous Long Island mansion, described in 1906 as: “a crown of glory filled with roses of yesterday. Not the highly cultivated darlings of fashionable society…[but] the damask rose, the tea rose…the lovely white Cherokee rose, with its Oriental luxuriance and abandon, becoming once again a very weed—the wild brier and the beautiful dog rose.”

It is very possibly this last rose, also known as Rosa canina, that is depicted in this exceedingly rare and beautiful model. This less refined floral variety is a climbing vine, and the shade’s pentagonal leading replicates a trellis. Unlike other geometric backgrounds, however, the designer had the liberty to disrupt the pattern and brilliantly created a motif of leaves and flowers luxuriously growing over the lattice.

The glass utilized in the shade is exceptional. The yellow-centered roses, with artistically curled petals in various shades of red, some streaked with blue and violet, grow among green and yellow-green leafage. Equally striking is the background, composed entirely of “foliage” glass. Originally created for Tiffany’s leaded glass landscape windows, “foliage,” otherwise known as “confetti,” was created by rolling hot sheet glass over “frit,” small, paper-thin sections of shattered colored glass. In this instance, transparent glass was enhanced with frit in tones of red, pink and green that perfectly match the leaded glass of the leaves and flowers.

Finally, the mosaic base seamlessly compliments the shade. Its tapered spherical form is an ideal match to the sloping domed contour of the shade. Also, the variegated green tesserae mirror the green hues of the shade’s leafage and background passages. All things considered, this is perhaps the finest example of the “Rambling Rose” model ever to appear at auction.

—Paul Doros