Important Design

Important Design

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 188. "Poinsettia" Table Lamp.

Property from a Private New York Collection

Tiffany Studios

"Poinsettia" Table Lamp

Auction Closed

June 6, 04:43 PM GMT


100,000 - 150,000 USD

Lot Details


Tiffany Studios

"Poinsettia" Table Lamp

circa 1905

with a rare reticulated blown-glass "Pineapple" base

leaded glass, favrile glass, patinated bronze

shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1557

base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/28610

22 ¾ in. (57.8 cm) high

16 in. (40.6 cm) diameter of shade

Collection of Gary Wexler, New York

Macklowe Gallery, New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 2016

Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, pp. 17 (for an in situ photograph of the shade)

Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Suffolk, 2019, pp. 27, no. 51 and 193, no. 757 (for the shade); 73, no. 267 and 268, 182, no. 731 and 194, no. 763 (for the base)

First imported to the US from Mexico in the 19th century, Poinsettias quickly became associated with Christmas thanks to their winter blooming season and vibrant red-and-green color scheme. Louis Comfort Tiffany, an expert marketer, took advantage of Poinsettias immense popularity, which spanned beyond the holiday season, and created a number of models using the flower around 1909-1910. The present example is executed in vibrant shades of tangerine, ruby red, and spring green and sits atop a rare “Pineapple” base with green glass blown into the reticulations of the bronze base. 

In a never-ending pursuit of new glass effects, Tiffany formulated dichroic glass that would read as one color under reflected light and a drastically different one when light shines through it. In the present lot, Poinsettia petals that appear mustard green when the lamp is off ignite into a firey orange when illuminated. This dichroic effect is the consequence of chemically mixing metal oxides into a colloidal solution so that the glass appears different depending on the angle and lighting. Initially created for use in windows, with dichroic glass, Tiffany could create stained glass compositions that looked different depending on the time of day, a particularly appealing idea before the age of widespread electric lighting. The dual nature of the material made glass selection even more sophisticated, as the composition had to look appealing in both reflected and transmitted light. The present lamp achieves the desired effect masterfully.