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Property from a Japanese Private Collection

'Wisteria' Table Lamp, circa 1904

'Wisteria' Table Lamp, circa 1904
leaded glass, patinated bronze
27 ½ in. (69 cm) high, 18 ¼ in. (46.4 cm) diameter of shade
shade with small early tag impressed TIFFANY STVDIOS NEW YORK 1073 4
base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 27770 9
Sotheby's, New York, 1 December 1990, lot 917
Acquired from the above by the present owner
R. Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass, New York, 1964, n.p., pl. v; p. 187
Dr. E. Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany, New York, 1970, pp. 215-220, nos. 287-293
R. Koch, Louis C. Tiffany’s Glass, Bronzes, Lamps, New York, 1971, pp. 125, no. 194; 131, no. 208
J. Purtell, The Tiffany Touch, New York, 1971, p. 131
R. Koch, Louis C. Tiffany’s Art Glass, New York, 1977, n.p., fig. 48
B. Deisroth, “Tiffany Today,” Nineteenth Century, Vol. IV, No. 1, Philadelphia, 1978, p. 67, no. 10
P. E. Doros, The Tiffany Collection of the Chrysler Museum of Norfolk, Norfolk, 1978, pp. 126-127, no. 194
H. F. McKean, The “Lost” Treasures of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1980, p. 191
A. Duncan, Tiffany Windows, New York, 1980, p. 69 (for a period photograph of the workshop with this model illustrated)
A. Duncan, Tiffany at Auction, New York, 1981, pp. 89, no. 238; 148, no. 391
W. Feldstein, Jr. and A. Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, New York, 1983, cover, pp. 36-37
T. Paul, The Art of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1987, p. 94
A. Duncan, Fin de Siècle Masterpieces from the Silverman Collection, New York, 1989, p. 40, no. 14
A. Duncan, Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1992, p. 106
M. May, Great Art Glass Lamps: Tiffany, Duffner & Kimberley, Pairpoint, and Handel, Atglen, 2003, p. 40
A. Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, pp. 17, 292-293
C. and P. Fiell, 1000 Lights: 1879-1959, Cologne, 2005, pp. 90-91
M. A. Johnson, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages, London, 2005, pp. 6 and 186, cat. 92
M. Eidelberg, A. Cooney Frelinghuysen, N. A. McClelland and L. Rachen, The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2005, pp. 106-107, cat. no. 15
M. Eidelberg, N. Gray, and M. K. Hofer, A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, exh. cat., The New York Historical Society, New York, 2007, cover and pp. 48-49, fig. 19
R. M. Pepall, Tiffany Glass: A Passion for Colour, exh. cat., Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, 2009, pp. 162-163; 177, cat. no. 134
M. K. Hofer and R. Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated, The Neustadt Collection at the New York Historical Society, exh. cat., New York Historical Society, New York, 2016, pp. 86-87, nos. 43-44
A. Duncan, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, Suffolk, 2019, pp. 11 (for a period advertisement depicting the model); 76-77, nos. 283-287
C. de la Bédoyère, Louis Comfort Tiffany Masterworks, London, 2020, p. 136
P. Crist, Tiffany Lamps: A History, Mosaic Shades, Volume I, Santa Fe Springs, 2023, pp. 92, no. 4-64 (shade model); 99, no. 4-90 (shade model); 181-184, nos. 6-113-6-125; 192, no. 6-154; 233, no. 8-21; 244, no. 8-71 (for a period advertisement of the model); 283, no. 9-65; 312, no. 10-37

Brought to you by

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

Lot Essay

Of all the lamps created by Tiffany Studios, there is none more iconic than the majestic ‘Wisteria’ on tree-form base table lamp. The intricate shade of over 2000 tiles of glass became one of the company’s most desirable and best-selling luxury lamps. Wisteria lamps vary from deep blue to silvery and opalescent glass, and each as compelling and contemplative as the other for the artistry in glass.
Native to Asia, the wisteria vine was a favorite of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The magnificent cascades of blossoms first arrived to the United States in the early nineteenth century leaving an indelible mark on landscape architecture from the east to the west coast of America. Louis Comfort Tiffany also had a canopy of wisteria outside his home and more wisteria vines hanging from a pergola in his gardens at his Oyster Bay, Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall. Famously, Tiffany sought to capture the blossoms not only in lamp form, but also in the unique windows for the dining room of Laurelton Hall as well (currently in the permanent collection of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum).
The 'Wisteria' table lamp is a visual reminder of the excellence of craftsmanship and artistry of the Tiffany Studios. Clara Driscoll (1861-1944), manager of the Women's Glass Cutting Department for Tiffany Studios where the ‘Tiffany Girls’ executed the sophisticated designs, has received overdue accolades as the notable author of many of Tiffany Studios most iconic lamp shade designs by way of the discovery of her written letters back home. From these letters we have learned that Driscoll was the designer of the Wisteria, and that ‘she had at least four other versions ‘in the works” (see M. Eidelberg, N. Gray, M. Koefer, A New Light on Tiffany, Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, 2007, p. 58.). While these patterns appear on the 1906 price list, these shades were discontinued by the time the company’s 1910 price list was published, likely due to the time and investment each shade demanded.
The present lot with plunging blossoms of intricate petals in a pearlescent eggshell tone and silvery vanilla hue terminates with a budding lemon-yellow border, akin to tips of the blossoms yet to open to full life. The rich green and yellow foliage peeking amongst the flowing blooms offers the eye the opportunity to explore further the nature of the flower. The naturalistic network of bronze branches offering canopy for the shade, is harmonious paired with the tree-form base, a full realization of Tiffany’s Studios ethos: to capture and immortalize nature at its most optimum moment in time.

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