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'Magnolia' Floor Lamp, circa 1920

'Magnolia' Floor Lamp, circa 1920
leaded glass, patinated bronze
78 in. (198.1 cm) high, 28 in. (71.1 cm) diameter of shade
shade impressed TIFFANY STVDIOS NY 1599
base impressed Tiffany Studios NEW YORK 375
The Merton Armstrong Collection
Cottone Auctions, Geneseo, New York, 27 March 2010, lot 125
Private American Collection
Acquired from the above by the present owner
A. Duncan, Tiffany at Auction, New York, 1981, pp. 72, no. 196; 104, no. 281 (shade); 223, no. 646 (base)
A. Duncan and W. Feldstein, Jr., The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, pp. 74-75 (shade)
A. Duncan, M. Eidelberg and N. Harris, Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany, London, 1989, pp. 114, 155 (shade)
A. Duncan, Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1992, p. 112 (shade)
J. Baal-Teshuva, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Cologne, 2001, pp. 146-147 (shade), 175 (base), 246-247 (shade), 331 (shade)
M. Eidelberg, A. Cooney Frelinghuysen, N. A. McClelland and L. Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 8-9 (shade), 91-95 (shade)
M. K. Hofer and R. Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, pp. 80-81 (shade)
A. Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Suffolk, 2019, pp. 224 (base), 225 (shade)

Brought to you by

Daphné Riou
Daphné Riou SVP, Senior Specialist, Head of Americas

Lot Essay

This spectacular example of the ‘Magnolia’ shade is one of the most beloved patterns produced by Tiffany Studios. Inspired by the large blossom that blooms in the Spring, the magnolia originates as a large genus of ancient flowering trees native to east and southeast Asia, but also the North, Central and South Americas.
Louis Comfort Tiffany’s renowned estate Laurelton Hall sat on nearly 600 acres overlooking Oyster Bay, Long Island, where native plants and exotic imports such as wisteria and magnolia brought diverse fragrances and visual stimuli to those who visited. Tiffany, a keen botanist and member of the New York Botanical Gardens, carefully maintained the lush grounds for his growing family and also the artists and contemporaries who saw Laurelton Hall as a retreat.
The Magnolia trees were the study of Agnes Northrop, Tiffany’s close friend and confident who photographed the flower and fauna as an exploration of the natural environment. It is from these studies that impressive windows from Tiffany Studios for important commissions and for Laurelton Hall were born. The present shade pattern also came to life from these studies: a profusion of magnolia both in nascent bud form in addition to the lush full bloom on thin intertwined branches with small leaves just growing indicating an early Spring timing. The glass selection in this shade helps to profess this moment in time by way of the pearlized white, cream, peach and rose colored petals accented by yellow-green and olive-green foliage. The vibrant periwinkle blue background glass is reminiscent of a clear afternoon, free of cloud or overcast.
The Magnolia was introduced after the 1906 Price List was issued, and before the subsequent 1910 edition. Production of the massive 28-inch domed Magnolia shade was one of the most expensive patterns to produced given the size, complexity and materials required, and subsequently a rare production as well. This grand statement of a floor lamp was exclusive amongst Tiffany Studios offerings yet its popularity allowed for the production to continue into the early 1920s as seen with the present lot.

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