"Dragonfly" Table Lamp
"Dragonfly" Table Lamp
with a rare “Dragonfly” mosaic base
leaded glass, mosaic favrile glass, patinated bronze
shade with a small early tag impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK
oil canister impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/180
17 ¼ in. (43.8 cm) high
17 in. (43.2 cm) diameter of shade
Overall in very good condition. The present lamp is a superb example of Tiffany’s iconic “Dragonfly” motif featuring an elaborate and incredibly rare mosaic favrile glass base. The base displays a strongly aquatic palette with a range of blue and green hues applied with rich iridescence and vigorous wave-form decoration which imparts the mosaic with strong rhythmic movement. The artistic palette of the shade picks up the variety of pastel hues seen in the iridized surfaces of the mosaic, including powder blue, pink, lavender, turquoise and green, along with warm yellows and oranges. When viewed firsthand, the lamp displays an overall brighter and more vibrant palette compared to the catalogue illustration. The shade with more than 25 hairlines cracks dispersed throughout (stable), many of them very small and minor. The shade with two geometric tiles on the bottom row with small losses to the glass which appear to have been sensitively restored with epoxy, only visible upon very close inspection. Nine background tiles and two geometric tiles surrounding the upper ring of the shade appear to have been replaced with well-matched glass at some point in the history of the piece. The shade with some light traces of surface soiling concentrated to the dragonfly wings beneath the etched overlays, consistent with age. The etched overlays with a few very minor edge tears to the metal, only visible upon very close inspection. The mosaic favrile glass base is in very good condition. The swirling dragonflies depicted in relief display finely articulated sculptural and textural details, and the composition is accented by arrowhead blossoms and leaves, creating a strongly naturalistic effect that complements the shade. The bronze surfaces of the base display a rich brown patina and present with scattered minor surface scratches and abrasions consistent with age and gentle handling. The bronze with some traces of surface soiling and oxidation concentrated to the recessed contours of the design and to the base of the leaves at the bottom of the composition where the form of the base cuts under. The shade arms with some very minor wear to the patina resulting from contact with the shade, not visually distracting and consistent with age and handling. The mosaic tiles with some edge wear and clamshell edge flecks throughout with some occasional slightly larger edge and corner chips, consistent with age and handling and not visually distracting. The mosaic tiles with some occasional tight hairlines, stable. A few isolated areas of the mosaic appear to have been reset and re-grouted at some point in the history of the piece; the grouting in these areas appears slightly more golden metallic (only visible upon close inspection). Four mosaic tiles were possibly replaced with well-matching period glass. The glass cabochons comprising the dragonfly eyes present with slightly more concentrated surface wear, and one eye presents with a small chip, only visible upon close inspection. The underside of the base is applied with green felt for protection. With a period oil canister, socket cluster and sockets. While the lamp is in good functional condition at the time of the sale, Sotheby's does not guarantee electrical components and suggests having all wiring inspected by a licensed electrician. A superb example of this complex and highly desirable model with an artistic palette and harmonious proportions. This lamp is quite dazzling when viewed in person.
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.
Dr. Egon Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, pp. 92 (for the shade) and 131 (for the base)
Alastair Duncan, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lighting, London, 1978, p. vii (for the shade and base)
Alastair Duncan, Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1992, p. 102 (for the shade and base)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 187-188 (for the shade and base)
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. 14-15, 96 (for the shade and base)
Kelly A. Conway and Lindsay R. Parrott, Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics, exh. cat., The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, 2017, p. 197 (for a drawing of the model)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2019, p. 27 (for the base)