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Property from a Private European Collection

Rare 'Pony Wisteria' Table Lamp, circa 1915

Rare 'Pony Wisteria' Table Lamp, circa 1915
leaded glass, patinated bronze
17 1/4 in. (43.8 cm) high, 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm) diameter of shade
base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1001
Minna Rosenblatt Ltd., New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1986
Dr. E. Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, p. 214, nos. 285-286
H. F. McKean, The “Lost” Treasures of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1980, p. 191, fig. 186
A. Duncan, Tiffany at Auction, New York, 1981, pp. 69, no. 188; 97, no. 263
W. Feldstein, Jr. and A. Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, pp. 116-117
V. Couldrey, The Art of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Edison, 1996, pp. 22-23
A. Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Suffolk, 2004, p. 292
M. Eidelberg, A. Cooney Frelinghuysen, N. A. McClelland and L. Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 106-109, no. 16
A. Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Suffolk, 2019, p. 79, no. 293

Brought to you by

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

Lot Essay

“Beauty is what nature has lavished upon us as a supreme gift.”
- Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany was inspired by Japanese culture and works of art such as the ukiyo-e woodblock prints depicting stylized landscapes and scenes of Japanese life, incorporating the natural flora and fauna. One such natural plant was the wisteria which had been introduced to the United States in the early 1800s. The cascading blossoms in a variety of blues, purples, and whites against foliate sprays provided rich inspiration for artists of the period, including Tiffany.

Tiffany went on to incorporate this plant into his own home, Laurelton Hall, in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, landscaping so that these delicate blossoms draped over the entrance loggia of the home as well as the pergola. His dining room was decorated with a set of seven transom windows depicting the sprawling flora in glass.

In 1901, the Wisteria table lamp was first designed by Clara Wolcott Driscoll (1861-1944), the head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department at Tiffany Studios. Like Tiffany, she had an innate love for the natural world and a talent to incorporate this into some of the most iconic designs produced by Tiffany Studios. The shade is composed of a network of bronze tendrils, branching out to form the beloved wisteria blossoms. The draped shade is composed of nearly 2,000 small pieces of glass, a very labor intensive shade which was reflected in its high price of $400 in 1906. In 1902, the lamp won a grand prize for Tiffany Studios in the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Decorativa Moderna in Turin, Italy. Different color combinations focusing on whites, blues, or purples were introduced to showcase the differentiating blossoms found in nature as well as stylistic preferences.

The present lamp is a rare Pony version of the Wisteria table lamp. Though its proportions are smaller, the design is just as intricate as its predecessor. The Pony Tree base was created specifically for this lamp and is decorated with intricately modeled roots in a warm brown patina accentuated by green overtones. The miniature shade is formed with the same bronze branches extending forth with delicately selected glass tiles rendering the blossoms in a variegated palette of lavender, lilac, violet, cerulean, turquoise, and apricot crowned by leaves of teal, emerald and olive green. The blossoms are nearly the same size as the Wisteria shade, although with fewer panicles around its circumference. This lamp was acquired in 1986 from Minna Rosenblatt, one of the leading figures in antique dealership in the 20th century, and has remained with the present owner since. This is a rare opportunity for connoisseurs of Tiffany to acquire a lamp that captures the artistry and craftsmanship that went into these works and have established Louis Comfort Tiffany’s reputation as one of the greatest artists of this country.

An example of this model is in the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art (acc. no. 2018.261).

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