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14

Tiffany Studios

A Rare "Fruit" Table Lamp

Estimate:

300,000

to
- 500,000 USD

Property from the Collection of Jeep and Carla Harned

Tiffany Studios

Tiffany Studios

A Rare "Fruit" Table Lamp

A Rare "Fruit" Table Lamp

Estimate:

300,000

to
- 500,000 USD

Lot sold:

564,500

USD

Property from the Collection of Jeep and Carla Harned

Tiffany Studios

A Rare "Fruit" Table Lamp


circa 1910-1915

with a rare internally illuminated "Turtle-Back" base

leaded glass, patinated bronze

shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1519-4

base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/355

33 1/4 in. (84.5 cm) high

24 1/4 in. (61.6 cm) diameter of shade

Overall in very good condition. This lamp features exceedingly rare models of both shade and base and together create an incredibly exuberant and sculptural work with impressive visual presence when viewed firsthand. The shade comprises an array of vibrant tones depicting grapes and apples which are surrealistically combined on the same plant. The palette ranges from deep crimson red through an array of oranges to bright tangerine; from deep amethyst to lavender and fuschia; and from bright green to more subdued, pastel tones. The colors are offset by the rich ultramarine blue glass that comprises the background. The shade with approximately 7 hairline cracks dispersed throughout; stable. The shade with some traces of surface soiling concentrated to the contours adjacent to the leadlines and the recessed contours of the rippled glass comprising the upper and lower registers, consistent with age. The shade ring was likely reset at some point in the history of the piece, which is common for a shade of this large proportion. The rare, internally illuminated "Turtle-Back" base is in overall very good condition and displays a rich russet brown and green patina when viewed firsthand. The bronze surfaces with scattered minor surface scratches, abrasions, dents, and scattered minor discolorations consistent with age and gentle handling. The patina with some light rubbing around the base switch on the upper shoulder. The base with some light surface soiling and traces of oxidation to the recessed contours of the design consistent with age and gentle use. The inset turtle-back tiles all appear to be original and undisturbed and are in very good condition. When viewed firsthand, the turtle-back tiles display extraordinarily luminous jewel-tone iridescence which is highly complementary to the shade. With period sockets; the interior socket in the base is a later replacement. With a later reproduction finial in very good condition with light wear, surface scratches and abrasions consistent with age and gentle handling. An extraordinary and sumptuous shade and base pairing with impressive sculptural presence and rich glass selection.


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.

For the shade:
Lillian Nassau, New York
Burt Sugarman, Los Angeles
Christie's New York, December 10, 1998, lot 371
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Dr. Egon Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, pp. 35 and 158 (for the shade); p. 155 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany At Auction, New York, 1981, p. 122, no. 330 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, p. 111 (for the shade); pp. 103 and 125 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Alastair Duncan, Fin de Siècle Masterpieces from the Silverman Collection, New York, 1989, pp. 24 (for the shade) and 28 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany's Glass, Bronzes, Lamps: A Complete Collector's Guide, New York, 1989, p. 128 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Takeo Horiuchi, ed., The World of Louis Comfort Tiffany: A Selection from the Anchorman Collection, Nagoya, Japan, 1994, p. 72 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1998, p. 71 (for a watercolor study of the present shade model)
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch, Atglen, PA, 2001, p. 240 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 305 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 72 (for the above mentioned watercolor study), 83 (for the base with mosaic inlays), 84-87 (for the shade) and 196 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007, p. 72, no. 275 and p. 155, no. 641 (for the base with mosaic inlays); p. 106, no. 430, p. 107, no. 436 and p. 160, no. 657 (for the shade); p. 189, no. 739 (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. 69 (for the base with mosaic inlays)
Margaret K. Hofer and Rebecca Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, p. 113 (for the shade); pp. 124 and 127 (for the base with mosaic inlays)

Louis Tiffany’s well-documented knowledge of botany extended beyond flowers and his expertise included both vegetables and fruits. The varied hues, colors, shapes and textures of the latter were perfect subjects for the revolutionary opalescent glass that was being developed for Tiffany at the Louis Heidt glasshouse in Brooklyn beginning in 1881. It was about that time that Tiffany received an important commission to decorate the New York City home of George Kemp, a pharmaceutical magnate. He chose to feature in Kemp’s dining room a window that depicted “peaches, pears and grapes hung half-hidden among the leaf clusters on a delicate trellis work. The glass has been so dexterously manipulated that all the delicate tints in the fruit are brought out true to nature, while a soft fleecy sky forms a perfect background to the dainty scene.”

The theme appealed to Tiffany on several levels beyond mere aesthetics. The sumptuous ripening fruit signified the abundance, richness and maturity of life before its inevitable decline. Specific fruits also had a deeply religious significance in Christianity. Grapes symbolized pleasure, prosperity and abundance as well as dedication, devotion and hard work. Apples, originally deemed as the “forbidden fruit,” represented knowledge and immortality in addition to the fall of man and sin.

The portrayal of fruit was explored in another of Tiffany’s early efforts. The primary focus of his Flower, Fish and Fruit window, created for Miss. M.E. Garrett of Baltimore in 1885 (now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art), is a large, low central bowl overflowing with an abundance of pears, apples, grapes and plums against an ornate floral background. The theme gradually evolved and achieved perfection in the four distinct panels that comprise the Four Seasons window that debuted at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. It was later installed in the living room of Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall mansion and is now in the collection of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art (Winter Park, FL). The Autumn panel is of particular interest, being comprised of apple tree branches laden with fruit intermingled with grape vines and clusters below a variegated blue sky.

The exceedingly rare "Fruit" lamp offered here, the fourth example ever made, was one of the earliest models created by the Tiffany Studios, as signified by the inclusion of a dash number, and the shade was discontinued by 1906. Possibly designed by Clara Driscoll, the shade’s resemblance to the 1900 Autumn panel is readily apparent. The Baldwin apples, a variety that is now a rarity but was the most popular apple in New York and New England at the time, are shown in various stages of ripening, ranging in color from a yellow-streaked green and apricot to a vibrant red with darker swirls. Situated among the apples and the blue-tinged green foliage are numerous grape clusters in shades of green, scarlet, blue, cobalt and violet against a lush blue background that harkens to that used in the Autumn panel.

The magnificent “Turtle-Back” base is the ideal foil to the shade. Beautifully cast in bronze that was enhanced with a rich brown patina with green highlights, the upper section is augmented with a band of eight large iridescent green Turtle-Back tiles that, when lit from the interior, wonderfully compliments the leafage on the shade. Above this band, a ring of smaller irregular rectangles was cast that mimic the turtle-back tiles. Considered as a single entity, this lamp is a superlative object that brilliantly displays the artistic culmination of Louis Tiffany’s exploration of the motif.

PAUL DOROS