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374

Elizabeth Eaton Burton

Five-Light Table Lamp

Property from a Private Collector, San Anselmo, California

Elizabeth Eaton Burton

Elizabeth Eaton Burton

Five-Light Table Lamp

Five-Light Table Lamp

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Property from a Private Collector, San Anselmo, California

Elizabeth Eaton Burton

Five-Light Table Lamp


circa 1904

patinated copper, abalone

21½ in. (54.6 cm) high

15 in. (38.1 cm) diameter

Overall in very good condition. This elegant lamp displays a rich green patina to the copper surfaces which beautifully complement the nuanced iridized surfaces of the abalone shells that comprise the shades. The copper surfaces throughout present with scattered minor surface scratches, abrasions, traces of surface soiling, minor discolorations and oxidation consistent with age and gentle use. The abalone shells are in very well-preserved condition and present with scattered surface irregularities inherent to the natural texture of the material. Two shell petals have recently been sensitively replaced by a professional restorer in keeping with the original design. The shells present with scattered minor scratches and abrasions consistent with age and gentle use. One shell presents with a very fine loss adjacent to the decorative incisions, measuring approximately ⅛ in. and only visible upon close inspection. The shells with light surface soiling and minor trapped debris concentrated to the recessed contours adjacent to the copper shade fitters. Sotheby's does not guarantee electrical components and recommends having all wiring inspected by a licensed electrician.


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.

Gustav Stickley, "Nature and Art in California," The Craftsman, vol. VI, no. 4, July 1904, p. 387 (for a related example)
Hand-Wrought Electric Lamps and Sconces from the Studio of Elizabeth Eaton Burton, Santa Barbara, CA, circa 1920, n.p. (for related examples)
Timothy J. Andersen, Eudorah M. Moore and Robert W. Winter, eds., California Design 1910, Salt Lake City, 1974, p. 83 (for a related single-light example)
Kenneth R. Trapp, The Arts and Crafts Movement in California: Living the Good Life, exh. cat., Oakland Museum, 1993, p. 15 (for a related three-light example)
David Cathers and Alexander Vertikoff, Stickley Style: Arts and Crafts Homes in the Craftsman Tradition, New York, 1999, p. 148 (for a related three-light example)
Michael Redmon, ed., My Santa Barbara Scrap Book, A portrait of the Artist Elizabeth Eaton Burton, Santa Barbara, 2011, n.p. (for related examples)
David Cathers et al., Arts and Crafts Lighting from the Collection of the Two Red Roses Foundation, Vol. 4, Palm Harbor, FL, 2014, pp. 24 and 33
Born in Paris in 1869, Elizabeth Eaton Burton emigrated to California at a young age with her father Charles Frederick Eaton. An artist and landscape designer, Eaton imparted to his daughter a knowledge of drawing and a passion for horticulture. Both proved equally pivotal to her career as a designer working in the Arts and Crafts style. Surrounded by the native plants of California as well as non-native plants that her father imported, Burton developed a distinct body of work incorporating natural motifs and materials, the most signature of which were her lighting designs. The present lot is a rare five-light example of her lily-inspired table lamps. Patinated copper is shaped into a delicate lily pad and exquisite abalone shells serve as the flower petals. In an advertisement for her work, Burton explained, "the combination of Shells with their beautiful natural coloring and opalescent tints, and hand-wrought Metal, is particularly effective in Decorative Lighting." Expertly crafted from these materials into a design that is simple yet exquisite, the lamp embodies the key principles of the Arts and Crafts movement.