The Spirit of America: The Wolf Family Collection

The Spirit of America: The Wolf Family Collection

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 31. Ceiling Light from the Francis W. Little House, Peoria, Illinois.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Ceiling Light from the Francis W. Little House, Peoria, Illinois

Auction Closed

April 20, 12:24 AM GMT


300,000 - 500,000 USD

Lot Details


Frank Lloyd Wright

Ceiling Light from the Francis W. Little House, Peoria, Illinois

Executed circa 1902-1903.

executed by the Linden Glass Company, Chicago, Illinois

iridized and opalescent glass, "colonial" brass-plated came, patinated bronze

29½ in. (74.9 cm.) drop

lantern: 8½ x 16⅛ x 16⅛ in. (21.6 x 40.9 x 40.9 cm.)

Francis W. Little House, Peoria, Illinois, circa 1902
Donald and Virginia Lovness, Stillwater, Minnesota
Domino’s Center for Architecture and Design, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1986
Christie's New York, Arts & Crafts and Architectural Designs, Including Works from The Domino's Center for Architecture and Design, December 11, 1993, lot 427
Wolf Family Collection No. 1081 (acquired from the above)

Thomas A. Heinz, Frank Lloyd Wright: Glass Art, London, 1994, p. 69

Designed in 1902-1903, the Francis W. Little House and its furnishings epitomize Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style of design and architecture. His pioneering approach aimed to establish a modern American architectural vocabulary rooted in the surrounding landscape of the Midwest. In the case of the Little House, low-pitched roofs evoked broad, flat expanses, while walled terraces and projecting eaves accentuated the structure’s strongly horizontal nature. Horizontal planes were also utilized in the furnishings and lighting of the Little House to seamlessly unite the exterior and interior.

The present ceiling light is best summarized as an intricate intersection of cubes. The light hangs from four thin stems of bronze, interspersed at several junctures with cubes. The verticality of the fixture is then interrupted by a horizontal grid of iridized and opalescent glass, which projects as elegantly and weightlessly into space as the overhangs of Wright’s roofs. This horizontal plane of glass is also as visually dynamic as one of Wright’s windows or laylights, featuring a strong geometric pattern of iridescent and opalescent square tiles relieved by rows of clear rectangular tiles. When viewed with reflected light, the shimmering glass creates a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic effect. Finally, the ceiling light ends with a suspended cube of frosted glass, a simple yet powerful geometric motif that casts a warm atmospheric glow and that Wright would use again in his cantilevered lighting designs for the John Storer House. Taken all together, the ceiling light design is at once compact and complex like the house it was created for. Only two of these ceiling lights were ever created for the Little House; the other example is in the collections of the Saint Louis Art Museum, making the present lot the last remaining opportunity for collectors to acquire this rare design.