View full screen - View 1 of Lot 308. "Dragonfly" Table Lamp.

Property from a Private Florida Collection

Tiffany Studios

"Dragonfly" Table Lamp

Auction Closed

December 8, 10:47 PM GMT


250,000 - 350,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from a Private Florida Collection

Tiffany Studios

"Dragonfly" Table Lamp

circa 1905

with a “Cattail Pond Lily” base

leaded glass, patinated bronze

shade with a small early tag impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK

24 in. (61 cm) high

20 1/2 in. (52.1 cm) diameter of shade

Lillian Nassau, Ltd., New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2005
Dr. Egon Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, pp. 99 (for the base) and 102-105 (for the shade)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany At Auction, New York, 1981, p. 88, no. 236 (for the base)
William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, p. 133 (for the base)
Alastair Duncan, Fin de Siècle Masterpieces from the Silverman Collection, New York, 1989, p. 39 (for the base)
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany's Glass, Bronzes, Lamps: A Complete Collector's Guide, New York, 1989, pp. 18 (for the shade) and 125 (for the base)
Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 294 (for the base)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 163 and 175 (for the 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, p. 54 (for the base)
David A. Hanks, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection, exh. cat., Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago, 2013, pp. 52-53 (for the shade and base pairing)
Margaret K. Hofer and Rebecca Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, pp. 47 (for the base) and 56 (for the shade)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2019, pp. 55, no. 178 (for the base), 106, no. 413 and 172, no. 696 (for the shade)
Tiffany’s Dragonfly lamp was among the firm’s first models that featured a leaded glass shade and has become an iconic design. Initially created by Clara Driscoll in 1899 and awarded a prestigious gold medal the following year at the Paris Exposition, it immediately attracted international acclaim. Tiffany Studios quickly replicated the pattern in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to capitalize on its wide appeal. The present lot, with its exceptional tonal harmony and richness of color, superbly demonstrates why the Dragonfly became one of the most celebrated designs ever produced by Tiffany Studios.

The shade wonderfully illustrates the theme of dragonflies hovering over water.  The eight red-eyed encircling insects feature segmented opalescent azure blue bodies with slightly conjoined filigreed wings of crimson-streaked cyan. They are beautifully contrasted against a dramatic rippled ground in shades of brilliant red subtly streaked with yellow and green. The background is further enhanced by the irregular placement of transparent dark amber jewels.

The patinated bronze base visibly reinforces the aquatic theme. Originally intended for use as an oil lamp, it was, at a price of $115 in 1906, one of the most expensive bases offered by Tiffany Studios. The body, surrounded by a broad lower border of undulating and overlapping pond lily pads, is finely cast in relief with long, slender ribbed cattail leaves of varying heights.

Taken as a whole, the shade and base create a truly harmonious and cohesive unit, brilliantly portraying a colorful group of dragonflies flitting over a pond as the sun descends and the sky reddens at the end of the day. This lamp, in all its radiance, again clearly displays the exceptional talents of Clara Driscoll and the rest of her “Tiffany Girls.”

Paul Doros