Important Design

Important Design

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 12. TIFFANY STUDIOS | "DRAGONFLY" TABLE LAMP.

Property from a Private Collection, New York


Auction Closed

July 30, 06:21 PM GMT


200,000 - 300,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from a Private Collection, New York



circa 1910

with a telescoping reticulated "Queen Anne's Lace" base

leaded glass, patinated bronze

shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK/1507-28

base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/397

28¼ in. (71.8 cm) high

23 in. (58.4 cm) diameter of shade

Private Collection, circa 1975

Acquired from the above by the present owner

William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, pp. 103 and 169 (for the shade)

Alastair Duncan, Martin Eidelberg and Neil Harris, Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany, London, 1989, p. 115 (for the shade)

Takeo Horiuchi, ed., The World of Louis Comfort Tiffany: A Selection from the Anchorman Collection, Nagoya, Japan, 1994, p. 72 (for the shade)

Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 305 (for the shade)

Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 34 and 196 (for the shade and base pairing); p. 197 (for the shade)

Marilyn A. Johnson, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages, London, 2005, p. 161 (for the shade)

Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, pp. 85, nos. 329-330 and 155, no. 643 (for the base); pp. 156, no. 647 and 215, no. 847 (for the shade)

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, pp. 46 (for the base) and 62 (for the shade)

Dragonflies possessed endless appeal for Louis C. Tiffany and his artisans. Their shimmering, iridized wings and bodies and the lush, complex and often aquatic landscapes they inhabit together encapsulate the splendor and richness of the natural world that Tiffany so admired. As a subject, the dragonfly in its natural habitat would have presented Tiffany’s artisans with abundant opportunity for interpretation with an unlimited color palette. However, Tiffany appreciated more than just their beauty. As a collector of Asian decorative art, he would have been aware of the dragonfly’s significance in Asian cultures, representing power and agility to the Japanese and prosperity, harmony and good fortune to the Chinese. With so many admirable qualities, it is no surprise that the dragonfly became a popular motif in Tiffany’s production, including leaded glass, mosaics, enamels and jewelry.

The present lot displays one of the largest and most elaborate leaded glass variations of the dragonfly model that the firm produced. It is paired with a telescoping base with scalloped, reticulated details, complementing the etched filigree dragonfly wings of the shade. This ideal combination of shade and base creates a stunning overall unit, but the most sensational aspect of the lamp is its superb glass selection. With a palette of deep and rich reds, mauves, oranges and ambers ascending into luscious cool and olive greens around the top register. The overall effect is incredibly striking, evoking a dazzling sunset reflected in an aquatic landscape buzzing with dragonflies.