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Rare 'Fruit' Table Lamp, circa 1910

Rare 'Fruit' Table Lamp, circa 1910
with a 'Tree' base
leaded glass, patinated bronze
29 1/2 in. (75 cm) high, 24 3/8 in. (61.1 cm) diameter of shade
shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1519-7
base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 553
Henry and Julia Borgardt, Florida, circa 1930
Harold and Emily Larson, California, circa 1950
Thence by descent to the present owner
Dr. E. Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, pp. 35, no. 32 (shade); 158, nos. 221-222 (shade); 203, no. 275 (base); 208, no. 279 (base); 209-212, nos. 279-283 (base); 215-220, nos. 287-293 (base)
R. Koch, Louis C. Tiffany’s Glass, Bronzes, Lamps: A Complete Collector’s Guide, New York, 1971, pp. 125, 130-131 (base)
W. Feldstein, Jr. and A. Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, pp. 29, 36, 67, 109, 137, 149 (base); 110-111 (shade)
J. Baal-Teshuva, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Cologne, 2001, pp. 180-181, 322 (shade)
M. Eidelberg, A. Cooney Frelinghuysen, N. McClelland, and L. Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 72, no. 101 (for a watercolor study of a ‘Fruit’ shade); 82-85, no. 2 (shade); 86-87, no. 3 (shade); 100-101, no. 12 (base); 106-107, no. 15 (base); 110-112 (base)
M. Hofer and R. Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios Nature Illuminated, New York, 2016, pp. 86-87, no. 43 (base); 90, no. 47 (base); 91, no. 48 (base); 110-113, no. 64 (shade); 117, no. 68 (base); 125, no. 74 (base)
A. Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Suffolk, 2019, pp. 60, no. 196 (base); 76-79 (base); 180, no. 721 (shade)
C. de la Bédoyère, Louis Comfort Tiffany Masterworks, London, 2020, p. 14

Brought to you by

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

Lot Essay

The present lamp is a rare and important example of Tiffany’s work depicting the ripe summertime fruits he drafted in previous designs. Grapes, oranges and apples decorate the shade, rich with symbolism. The violet purple grapes and oranges resemble prosperity, wealth and pleasure. The apples, possibly Baldwin apples which were the most popular apples in New England at the time, represent knowledge and immortality, stemming from the Christian story of the ‘Fall of Man’ when Adam eats the apple, or ‘forbidden fruit’. The various fruits are set against a rich blue sky and foliage in variegated greens in olive and lime tones. The shade is accentuated by a Tree base, typically found on Laburnum or Wisteria shades. The gnarled roots congregate into a solid tree trunk in a warm brown patina with green overtones that springs forth into the bountiful fruit-filled shade.

The provenance of this lamp tells a rich familial story. In the early 1920s, Henry and Julia Borgardt owned an orange orchard in Homestead, Florida, just outside of Everglades National Park. In the early 1900s, around 1930, Henry purchased the present ‘Fruit’ lamp from a thrift store in Florida for $30. When their daughter and son-in-law, Emily and Harold Larson, visited in the 1950s, Emily admired the lamp and Henry shortly thereafter shipped it to their home in Sacramento, California.

From there, the ‘Fruit’ lamp was displayed lovingly in the California home. In the 1970s, the shade was converted into a hanging lamp. In 1993, Emily and Harold moved to Yuba City, California where the shade was then displayed as a table lamp again. Harold passed away in 1998 and in 1999, Emily went into volunteer service. The lamp was moved to their daughter’s, Pamela’s, home in Sacramento.

In 2008, Emily remarried to a gentleman named Lyndale and the lamp was driven to their new home in Frederick, Maryland. In 2014, they moved to California. Unfortunately, Lyndale’s health declined rather quickly and in October of that year, Emily moved in with her daughter in Elk Grove, California. In February 2018, Pamela with Emily moved to Galt, California where the lamp has remained since.

Tiffany’s passion for color and nature are brought together in this exquisite example. The ‘Fruit’ shade offers collectors a unique opportunity to obtain one of Tiffany’s earliest models paired with an attractive ‘Tree’ base. An example of this ‘Fruit’ shade can be found in the permanent collection of the New York Historical Society (inv. no. N84.104.1).

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