Dreaming in Glass: Masterworks by Tiffany Studios

Dreaming in Glass: Masterworks by Tiffany Studios

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 313. "Oriental Poppy" Floor Lamp.

Property from an Important American Collection

Tiffany Studios

"Oriental Poppy" Floor Lamp

Auction Closed

December 8, 10:47 PM GMT


600,000 - 800,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from an Important American Collection

Tiffany Studios

"Oriental Poppy" Floor Lamp

circa 1910-1915

with a "Chased Pod" Senior base

leaded glass, patinated bronze

shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/1902

base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/376

79 in. (200.7 cm) high

26 1/2 in. (67.3 cm) diameter of shade

Sandra Van Den Broek, New York
Dr. Egon Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, pp. 36 (for the shade and base) and 161 (for the shade)
William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, pp. 18-19 and 52-53 (for the shade)
Robert Koch, Louis CTiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch, Atglen, PA, 2001, p. 265 (for the shade and base pairing)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 132-133 (for the shade)
Margaret K. Hofer and Rebecca Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, pp. 40, 76, 81 and 105 (for the base) and 62 (for the shade)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2019, pp. 226, no. 881 (for the shade) and 228, no. 890 (for the base)
The Oriental Poppy, with its large extravagant flowers signaling the arrival of summer, have always been a popular subject for artists, and Louis Tiffany was no different. He was taken with their natural beauty, planting beds of them at The Briars, his first Long Island estate, as well as the sunken garden at Laurelton Hall, where his “well-known predilection for the oriental is allowed full rein. Poppies and golden creeper steep this delectable spot in rich color.”

It is therefore somewhat surprising that Tiffany Studios did not produce an Oriental Poppy shade until around 1913, especially when considering that the more common poppy was among the earliest leaded glass shades the company produced at the turn of the century. Perhaps the reason was the size and expense of producing the model, which was included in the company’s October 1913 Price List as “1902. 26 in. ORIENTAL Poppy, dome $350,” making it the most expensive lamp offered by the company at the time, $50 more than even the similarly shaped but larger Magnolia model.

A close examination of the shade and its complex pattern makes it readily apparent why it was so costly to manufacture. Innumerable large multi-petaled flowers, some with either sapphire-blue or amber-yellow centers, are in breathtaking variegated shades of scarlet, crimson, ruby and orange-red. Scattered among the blossoms are smaller blue-streaked flowers about to burst into bloom, red-tipped green and white buds, and brown-capped green seed pods. All are pendant from green foliage with lavender highlights and against a luxuriant powder-blue background.

The different pose of each poppy, ranging from a full-frontal view to a detail of the flower’s reverse side, the manner in which the smaller stems bend due to the weight of the bud, and the extensive and brilliant palette help to produce a visual spectacle rarely equaled by any of the other leaded glass shades produced by the company. Just as in his garden, and in his finest works,  Tiffany allowed himself full rein in the creation of this Oriental Poppy lamp.

Paul Doros