Antique Tiffany lamps shine at Sotheby’s



2015-06-26 11:18:07

Antique Tiffany lamps shine at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s New York held two sales of Tiffany Studios lamps on December 5, ‘Important Tiffany’ and ‘Masterworks by Tiffany Studios from the Geyer Family Collection’.

Tiffany lamps were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany from 1895, and are emblematic of the Art Nouveau movement. They employ stained leaded glass shades and fashioned stems. Each Tiffany lamp was hand crafted by skilled designers, not mass produced, and this is where much of their value and appeal stems from.

The star of both auctions was a rare table lamp called the ‘Trumpet Creeper’, circa 1902-1906. This piece possessed a base in the form of a tree, and stained leaded glass shade, tumbling green leaves falling into red and orange flowers. It sold for $914,500 over a $400,000-$600,000 estimate. This lamp claimed ownership by just two families since 1906, and remains in excellent condition.

A ‘Peony’ table lamp, circa 1905, with flower themed glass shade and unusual ‘mosaic and turtle-back’ tile base, sold for $746,500. This base is recorded as coming from the historic Tavern Club in Cleveland.

Other successes included a ‘Peacock’ table lamp, circa 1905, the base decorated with peacock feathers, sold for $242,500 over a $140,000-$180,000 estimate. A ‘Lily Pads’ table lamp, the shade presented like a rippling pond overlaid with leaves, set on a twisted lily stem base, sold for $218,500 over a $100,000-$150,000 estimate.

A lamp of a very different design, known as the ‘Nautilus’ desk lamp, depicts a bronze mermaid holding up the lamp shade, a beautifully wrought Nautilus shell. This example sold for $28,125.

Another unusual item was a rare ‘Turtle-Back Diver’s Lantern’, in favrile glass and patinated bronze. A potholed sphere with a petrol sheen effect, this sold for $25,000.

Other objects from Tiffany Studios were also offered, included several vases, inkstands, a cigar cutter, a hand mirror, a tobacco jar, moth and butterfly lamp screens, desk sets and more.


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