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408

TIFFANY STUDIOS | A RARE "SWIRLING DRAGONFLY” CHANDELIER

Estimate:

180,000 - 240,000 USD

Property from a Midwestern Collection

TIFFANY STUDIOS | A RARE "SWIRLING DRAGONFLY” CHANDELIER

TIFFANY STUDIOS | A RARE "SWIRLING DRAGONFLY” CHANDELIER

Estimate:

180,000 - 240,000 USD

Lot sold:

200,000

USD

Property from a Midwestern Collection

TIFFANY STUDIOS

A RARE "SWIRLING DRAGONFLY” CHANDELIER


circa 1905-1910

the shade embellished with a rare suspended fringe border (removable) in two varying lengths

leaded glass, patinated bronze

46¾ in. (118.7 cm) drop

25¾ in. (65.4 cm) diameter of shade

Overall in very good condition. The shade transitions beautifully from vibrant orange-yellow and ochre in the upper register to green, turquoise and cerulean blue in the lower register. The dragonfly bodies are executed in cobalt blue with red eyes. The shade is distinguished by the dramatic, sculptural chipped cabochon jewels accenting the composition. The shade with approximately 30 hairline cracks dispersed throughout, stable, which is a reasonable number when taking into account the vast number of individual glass tiles required to execute a shade of this scale and complexity. The shade with some minor traces of surface soiling concentrated to the contours adjacent to the lead lines consistent with age. The etched bronze wing overlays are all entirely intact and present with some minor traces of surface soiling beneath the overlays. The leading with some minor traces of paint enhancement, not visually distracting and only visible upon close inspection. The decorative ball chain fringe displays two alternating lengths and appears to be all original with expected surface wear, abrasions and some occasional indentations consistent with age and handling. The ceiling canopy, hanging rod, socket cluster and sockets appear to be later reproduction and are in very good condition displaying a rich brown patina with scattered minor surface scratches, abrasions and wear consistent with handling. The suspension chains, which are equipped with leveling devices, appear to be original and are in very good condition. An exceedingly rare and highly dynamic shade design with strong visual movement and a highly artistic glass selection. The Chandelier presents beautifully with great visual presence.  


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.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Private Collection, Detroit

Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1970s

William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, p. 179

Janet Zapata, The Jewelry and Enamels of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1993, p. 11

Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, pp. 220 and 232, no. 897

Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1998, p. 70 (for a watercolor study of the model)

Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 69 (for the above mentioned watercolor study) and 190-191

The present lot is an early example of one of the Tiffany firm’s most dynamic iterations on the dragonfly subject—the “Swirling Dragonfly” shade. This example, an early example of this exceedingly rare model, is further distinguished by its original fringe border of patinated metal balls suspended from beaded chains of alternating lengths. The firm offered such embellishments to their lighting designs, which in this case greatly enhances the dynamic quality of the shade, creating a harmonious visual continuation of the beaded border. Even more distinguishing, the present shade is punctuated throughout with highly tactile and irregular chipped favrile glass jewels. These chipped jewels are synonymous with Tiffany’s earliest works, and were used to great effect in imparting their lighting designs with a Moorish influence. The overall effect is a dazzling display of dragonflies swirling fancifully around the perimeter of the shade, further enhanced by the dynamic fringe border.