Rare pair of Tiffany lamps could bring $2 million in New York

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2015-06-26 11:25:48

A pair of highly rare Tiffany lamps are expected to sell for up to $1 million each at a forthcoming Sotheby's sale in New York.

The lamps are part of collection regarded as one of the most important to appear at auction in over a decade. In total, seven remarkable examples will be offered in a special sale on December 17 from the personal collection of renowned Tiffany collector and dealer Sandra van den Broek.

“Louis Comfort Tiffany was an unrelenting visionary, for whom artistry and innovation were everything," said van den Broek. "I acquired the lamps in this collection over a thirty year period, during which I always hunted for the best examples of each model, and the most unique and artistic pieces available. The lamps on offer define the criteria for exceptional Tiffany – from the most saturated and artistic glass selections, to the most desirable and dynamic shade and base combinations.”

The standout lots are a pair of almost Wisteria lamps, designed by Clara Driscoll in 1901 and featuring almost 2,000 individual pieces of coloured glass. The lamps are almost identical, and feature successive factory numbers, making them the closest to a matching pair ever offered at auction.

“I found the first of these two Wisterias in the mid-1980s," said van den Broek. "It was one of the greatest Wisterias I had ever seen – I knew instantly that I would buy it. About 15 years later I was approached to purchase another, equally beautiful Wisteria. Before I bought the second lamp, I was shocked to see that its early stamped production numbers followed in exact sequence with the example I already owned. When I put the Wisterias side by side, it was evident that these two successively numbered lamps had been cut from the same sheets of glass, which was an amazing discovery.”

Offered as separate lots, each lamp is expected to sell for $700,000-$1 million each. Further highlights from the collection include a Dragonfly lamp made circa 1910 and estimated at up to $900,000; and a Peony table lamp made in 1905 and valued at up to $350,000.

“Every new generation of collectors rediscovers the genius of Tiffany – a testament to the unparalleled innovation, creativity and craftsmanship of the firm’s work," commented Jodi Pollack, Head of Sotheby’s 20th Century Design Department in New York.

"In recent years, it has been thrilling to see global interest in Tiffany from young collectors, who are pairing great works of art by modern and contemporary masters with the firm’s spectacular designs. The two are a natural fit.”

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