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372

Tiffany Studios

"Daffodil" Table Lamp

Property from a Distinguished West Coast Collection

Tiffany Studios

Tiffany Studios

"Daffodil" Table Lamp

"Daffodil" Table Lamp

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Property from a Distinguished West Coast Collection

Tiffany Studios

"Daffodil" Table Lamp


circa 1910

with a rare "Bird Skeleton" base

leaded glass, patinated bronze

shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1497-43

base impressed 442/TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK

27½ in. (69.9 cm) high

20½ in. (52.1 cm) diameter of shade

Overall in very good condition. This lamp has historic provenance going back to the period, and by all accounts the shade, base, finial and socket components have all originated together from the period. When viewed firsthand, the shade displays a brilliant palette of green hues ranging from olive green in the background passages and vibrant shamrock and deep emerald greens to articulate the daffodil stems and leaves. The daffodil blossoms are executed in complementary orange-yellow glass. The shade with approximately 5 hairline cracks dispersed throughout, stable. The shade with some extremely light surface soiling throughout concentrated to the contours adjacent to the leadlines. The extraordinary "Bird Skeleton" base is in excellent condition, displaying an exceptionally rich and deep russet brown and green patina. The patinated bronze surfaces with some scattered minor surface scratches, abrasions, wear and discolorations throughout, and with some light surface soiling and oxidation to the recessed contours of the design, consistent with age and gentle use. With period sockets. With a later replaced shade riser. With a period finial. The finial with a small indentation with adjacent section of the etched edge that is slightly upturned, not visually distracting. A highly complementary and elegant shade and base pairing that presents beautifully when viewed in person. The complex reticulated “Bird Skeleton” base imparts incredible dynamism and visual interest to the lamp, and displays superb casting quality.


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.

Benjamin Walworth Arnold Jr., Albany, New York, circa 1910
Dorothy Treat Arnold Cogswell
Dr. Joseph G. and Cornelia Cogswell Rossi
Independent Appraisers and Auctioneers, Pawling, New York, May 15, 2004, lot 41
The Geyer Collection
Sotheby's New York, The Geyer Collection: Masterworks of Tiffany and Prewar Design, December 11, 2018, lot 66
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Robert Koch, Louis C Tiffany's Glass, Bronzes, Lamps: A Complete Collector's Guide, New York, 1989, p. 128 (for the base)
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch, Atglen, PA, 2001, p. 241 (for the base)
Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 282 (for the base)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy A. McClelland and Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 62 and 141 (for the shade); p. 116 (for the base)
Margaret K. Hofer and Rebecca Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, p. 89 (for the base)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2019, pp. 85, no. 323 and 173, no. 698 (for the shade); p. 107, no. 415 (for the base)
The "Bird Skeleton" model highlights Louis Comfort Tiffany’s interest in designs that were inspired by the natural world. With its sinuous curves and biomorphic architecture, the abstract form of the "Bird Skeleton" base references the delicate anatomy of a bird. This naturalistic tendency is in part rooted in the affinity for cataloging flora and fauna, which flourished in the 19th century—a time when many natural history museums were founded in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Osteology of Birds, published by the noted ornithologist R. W. Shufeldt in the early 20th century, was a historical source of ornithological study for both the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History. Tiffany reinterprets and abstracts the skeletal form to give an evocative sense of the natural, eschewing scientific accuracy for rhythmic verticality and visually suggesting natural sinews, joints, and bones.

The execution of such a complex design was surely a tremendous feat for the firm. When the "Bird Skeleton" model was first mentioned in the firm's 1906 Price List, the base was originally offered for the comparatively large sum of $90.00, attesting to the expense of casting such an intricate construction. In the present lot, this spectacular base is enhanced by the especially complementary pairing with the naturalistic glass selection of this "Daffodil" shade. It is further distinguished by its historical provenance: this lamp was originally acquired directly from the firm by Benjamin Walworth Arnold of Albany, New York, and it descended in the Arnold family until its acquisition by the Geyer Family.