• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 26 October 2021

Hidden Gems: The Collection of Dr. Thomas Chua


'Laburnum' floor lamp, circa 1905
leaded glass, patinated bronze
25 in. diameter of shade
77 ½ in. high overall
Estimate: $200,000-300,000

New York – Christie’s presents Hidden Gems: The Collection of Dr. Thomas Chua to be sold across sales of Design, Jewels, and Impressionist and Modern Art.

Dr. Thomas Chua established himself as a highly successful Medical Doctor who was deeply admired by his patients. As a devoted collector, Dr. Chua made time to develop his connoisseurship and curious eye for art. Dr. Chua aligned himself with a long history of Chicago-area collectors who were drawn to innovative examples of creative expression.

Hidden Gems: The Collection of Dr. Thomas Chua illustrates the extraordinary vision of a collector who focused on the ethereal in nature, led by significant works of Design and Tiffany, to be sold in a series of live sales in December 2021 at Christie’s New York. Captured in the medium of glass, Hidden Gems explores the luminous and sculptural effects of the medium, from historic exhibition pieces by Emilé Gallé and expressive works of Daum Nancy to masterpieces of leaded glass by Tiffany Studios, the collection of Dr. Thomas Chua is full of surprises.

Rarities ranging from Gallé’s important ‘Brize d’Amour’ vase of 1904, of which few examples are known outside of museums and the firm’s impressive blown glass ‘Wisteria’ and ‘Rhododendron’ table lamps from 1920s, a mesmerizing ‘Laburnum’ floor lamp by Tiffany Studios, and a spectacular ‘Witness to the Divine’ window designed by Tiffany Studios for the Church of the Unity, Springfield, Massachusetts. Amassed quietly over three decades, Hidden Gems: The Collection of Dr. Thomas Chua captures the spirit of the world at the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century, when innovations in technology and technique were utilized to capture the delicate and fleeting effects of light in the natural world.

Michael Jefferson, International Senior Specialist, Design, Christie’s, commented: “Dr. Chua’s collection captures the ethereal in nature, illustrating the dazzling effects of glass in the hands of the most talented artists of the last 150 years.”

Daphne Riou, Head of Department, Design, Christie’s New York, remarked: “Christie’s is honored to present to the market the collection of Dr. Thomas Chua, including masterpieces of glass by Emile Gallé, Daum and Tiffany, which have been hidden for decades. These pieces are a testimony of the innovative and artistic exploration of glass at the turn of the century both in France and in the United States.”


Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale | 12 November 2021
Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale | 13 November 2021
Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper Sale | 13 November 2021
Jewels Online | 23 November – 7 December 2021
Design | 9 December 2021
Tiffany | 10 December 2021
Latin American Art | January 2022

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

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