Lot 322
  • 322

TIFFANY STUDIOS | A Rare “October Nightshade” Chandelier

Estimate
120,000 - 180,000 USD
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • Tiffany Studios
  • A Rare “October Nightshade” Chandelier
  • shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 620
  • leaded glass, patinated bronze
  • 42 in. (106.7 cm) drop26 1/2  in. (67.3 cm) diameter of shade
  • circa 1910

Provenance

Macklowe Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2001 

Literature

Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass, New York, 1964, p. 186 (for a workshop sample panel)
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch, Atglen, PA, 2001, p. 116 (for a workshop sample panel)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, p. 234
David A. Hanks, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection, New York, 2013, cover and pp. 21 and 57

Catalogue Note

This hanging shade is one of the rarest designs executed by Tiffany Studios. It is generally known as “October Night,” and if this were correct, this would be one of the most poetic names in Tiffany’s repertoire. The design is not listed on either the firm’s 1906 or 1910 Price Lists, but valuable information is provided by a workshop sample panel of this pattern, now preserved in the Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida. It is one of a few such samples to have survived. A leaded metal plate soldered onto the leading bears the stamped designation “OCT. NIGHTSHADE.” In the past this was misunderstood to mean “a shade depicting an October night” but, rather, it should be read as designating a vine that is a member of the nightshade family. Tomatoes and eggplants are also members of the nightshade family, both of which bear fruit in the summer. The vine depicted here is one that flourishes in the fall, namely bittersweet. Its leaves (heart-shaped but occasionally irregular) are still green but the bright red berries announce the coming of fall.

This design is one of a number of octagonal hanging shades offered by Tiffany Studios, each with a different species of climbing vine: Nasturtium, Woodbine, Grape, and even one called “Mixed Vine.” The bars of the trellis give both visual and structural support, although every so often a bit of the vine creeps beyond the bottom bar—irrepressible truancy that Tiffany relished. Such a shade would have been hung over a dining table, and as one sat below it, just as under a real trellis, one could enjoy this last abundance of nature. Its imagery conjures up a crisp, autumnal day. The sky has an icy clarity now that the humidity of the summer has passed, and its color progresses from dark ultramarine to a light blue, just as in a print by Hokusai. Few examples of this hanging shade are known, making its beauty all the more precious.

—Martin Eidelberg
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