FALL 2019 Newsletter

Featured Item:  Lotus Lamp

Article: TIFFANY LAMPS – What are they worth today?

Greetings Stained-Glass Fans:

Ever wonder what original Tiffany lamps are worth today? Recently, one spectacular lamp – the Pond Lily Table Lamp - auctioned off at Christie’s at an unprecedented high amount. The final selling price was astounding! Who could have guessed those old unwanted lamps would be worth so much today? Read about it in the Article Section.

In this newsletter we feature a rich-red hanging shade with a large floral motif inspired by another price record-breaking Tiffany lamp – the exotic Lotus Table lamp. See it in the Featured Item Section.

I especially enjoyed writing this issue as it showcases two spectacular Tiffany table lamps created around the same time; the Pond Lily lamp, circa 1903 and the Lotus lamp, circa 1905. They have one feature in common; both depict exotic water florals.     

What is the difference between water lilies and lotus flowers? Both plants take root in water, however the flowers and leaves of water lilies float directly on the surface of the water, their stems hidden below, while the blossoms and leaves of the lotus rise above the water level, their long stems visible.   Oh!...

Enjoy!

Lorena

Water Lilies vs. Lotus Blossoms

Blue-Raspberry Pond Lily Table Lamp

by Shades of Tiffany.

Water Lily

Lotus Blossom

Artwork by Cal Haves

 
Featured Item
Note: Each item presented is a one-of-a-kind work of art available for purchase. Should any item sell, there are no duplicates.  
Contact us about any similar items. 

HANGING LOTUS LAMP

In this newsletter we present a stunning hanging fixture; an interpretation of Tiffany’s famous Lotus Table Lamp. Although, not a true reproduction of the original, by using a contemporary pattern and mold, today’s stained-glass artists are able to build an otherwise impossible shade that incorporated custom hardware as a major component of its design.

 

Article

TIFFANY LAMPS – What are they worth today?

The Pond Lily, and the Pink Lotus Table Lamps

Introduction

Back in the early 1970s we novice stained glass artists had opportunities to view, with awe, a few original Tiffany lamps. They were either in private collections, via antique dealers or in special museum exhibits. To our delight, some of these lamps we saw in person - we glass artists were painstakingly replicating.

In the 1970s Louis Comfort Tiffany was an unknown figure to the general public. As recently as the 1960s, an "outdated, weird" Tiffany  lamp could be bought for a few hundred dollars. However, in 2013 a weird-looking Tiffany Studio’s Bat Table Lamp auctioned at Christie's, NY for $750,000!

Whenever I read about a Tiffany lamp that has auctioned off, I wonder how much it sold for. Today’s article is about a recent auction example that will truly amaze you – The Pond Lily Table Lamp. Who Knew?

THE POND LILY TABLE LAMP: a brief history and description  

The Pond Lily or Flowering Lotus (whichever text you consult), table lamp was designed circa 1903 for Tiffany Studios, New York, by chief designer, Clara Driscoll. This lamp was one of Tiffany Studios most extravagant creations offered to his wealthy clientele, priced at the time at $400; a year’s salary for the average worker.

Ms. Driscoll imagined a scene of long-stemmed lotus blossoms cascading over a waterfall, forming an irregular border at the bottom. There the blossoms slightly flared outward seemingly to float toward the viewer. This spectacular recreation of nature was inspired, as were so many of her lamp patterns, by Japanese motifs, so popular at the time.

 

To complete this realistic scene the shade was set upon a cast bronze base of water lily stems and clustered lily pads. The result was a mesmerizing, lighted sculpture in motion and beauty.

 

Turquoise Mauve-Flame Pond Lily Table Lamp

by Shades of Tiffany.

Features of Note

Two unique features of the lamp’s design are worth noting: a barely visible finial at top (instead of the standard lamp hardware) that reiterates this is a living scene - not a utilitarian table lamp; and outfitted underneath the shade were circular rows of light sockets to fully illuminate its long barrel shape. Also, the glass chosen was essential in depicting cool sparkling water and colorful exotic lotus blossoms.

Today

As of December 13, 2019, a Pond Lily / Flowering Lotus Table Lamp in blue violet sold at Christie’s New York, for $3,372,500, a world auction record for Tiffany Studios.  

 

There are only 14 known examples of the Pond Lily table lamp existing today, five of which are in museum collections.

Technical Facts

For the stained-glass artist - the Pond Lily shade:

  • Consists of 1,792 cut, copper foiled and soldered tiny pieces of stained glass.

  • Requires 11 square feet of glass.

  • Has a four-time repeat pattern around the shade.

  • Takes a 1.5” cap to cover the tiny opening on top.

  •  Is 14” H. X 18” W.

Green Turquoise-Pink Pond Lily shade

by Shades of Tiffany.

THE PINK LOTUS TABLE LAMP: a brief history and description  

 

Quite Magnificent

As Clara Driscoll designed the Lotus table lamp circa 1905 for Tiffany Studios, she envisioned a lighted, living lotus plant.

 

The top section of the shade was open, exposing the interior hardware consisting of hanging, electrified bronze stem-like tubing. Each tube was fitted at the end with a blown glass lotus bud that covered a light bulb.

When the lamp was lit, the buds illuminated the bottom section of the shade, consisting of large hanging lotus blossoms, buds, and leaves. Quite fabulous - quite a unique innovation.

Interesting Facts

  • The Lotus Table Lamp was originally commissioned to Tiffany Studios by the Wrigley family in 1905.

  • The lamp is an Art Nouveau style inspired by Japanese motifs.

  • It was Tiffany’s most expensive model: $750 when made in 1906. (a two year’s salary for the average worker.)

  • It became the most desirable example of luxury.

  • The Pink Lotus Lamp in 1997 sold at auction at Christie’s NY for $2,807,500, at the time the most expensive lamp in the world.

  • Today this lamp is in a private collection and is believed to be the only known example in existence.

Tiffany’s original Lotus Shade

Artwork by Cal Haves

Contact us at  lorena@shadesoftiffany.biz  or call  1-415-345-8529

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