Lot 215
  • 215

TIFFANY STUDIOS | A Rare “Dragonfly” Floor Lamp

300,000 - 500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany Studios
  • A Rare “Dragonfly” Floor Lamp
  • shade with small early tag impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORKbase impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/379
  • leaded glass, patinated bronze
  • 64 in. (162.6 cm) high22 1/2  in. (57.2 cm) diameter of shade
  • circa 1905
with a “Chased Pod” Junior floor base


For the shade:
Private Family Collection, New York
Christie’s New York, December 10, 1988, lot 522
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Dr. Egon Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, p. 179 (for the present shade)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany At Auction, New York, 1981, p. 137 (for the standard shade model)
William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, p. 125 (for the present shade variant)
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany's Glass, Bronzes, Lamps: A Complete Collector's Guide, New York, 1989, p. 128 (for the present shade variant)
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch, Atglen, PA, 2001, p. 240 (for the present shade variant)
Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 305 (for the standard shade model)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 34 and 96-97 (for the standard shade model)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, pp. 156 (for the present shade variant) and 215 (for the standard shade model)
Martin Eidelberg, Nina Gray and Margaret K. Hofer, A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, exh. cat., New York Historical Society, 2007, p. 62, fig. 28 (for the standard shade model)
Margaret K. Hofer and Rebecca Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, pp. 53 and 55 (for the standard shade model)

Catalogue Note

Dragonflies were a popular subject in the decorative arts sphere at the turn of the century, and one that Tiffany represented in myriad ways in his leaded glass lampshades. Their slender bodies and elegant wings were brilliantly reimagined into a conventionalized motif, their heads pointed down and wings outspread, encircling both conical and domical shades in varying sizes. Not only are the insects visually striking on their own, but their aquatic habitats presented ample opportunity to Tiffany’s artisans to experiment with color and texture to create a strongly naturalistic effect.

The present “Dragonfly” shade is a superlative example of a rare variant of one of Tiffany’s most iconic models: the “Hanging Head” dragonfly shade, which was likely designed by Clara Driscoll. The present example is distinguished by its unusual scalloped lower border, few of which are known to exist. Its glass selection, however, is perhaps its most unusual and special quality. The upper register of the shade is executed in brilliant cerulean blue, descending into lower registers of rich emerald green, vibrant yellow-greens, and finally fiery orange and amber along the bottom border, offsetting the rich red of the dragonflies’ bodies. Almost all of the background glass is executed in complex rippled glass, creating an aqueous effect as though the dragonflies were gently skimming the surface of a pond. An unusual feature of this shade is that, in addition to the small oval and circular cabochon jewels that are standard to this shade pattern, what would be the largest oval cabochon in the upper middle register is actually executed in rippled glass. This unexpected design choice further underscores the aquatic nature of the shade.