Auction  December 19, 2017  Megan D Robinson

Tiffany Masterworks Exceed Expectations at Auction

Courtesy Sotheby's

Tiffany Studios, "Dragonfly" Table Lamp, circa 1905.

Sotheby’s auctioned off an extraordinary collection of Tiffany Masterworks December 13th. Collected by William A Richardson, the ensemble showcased a number of extraordinary Tiffany Lamps, including the iconic Dragonfly Lamp, and included rare examples of Tiffany mosaics, fancy goods and leaded glass windows. The entire collection sold for $7,309,500 USD, with many items going for three to four times the estimated value.

Part of the Art Nouveau Movement, Tiffany Lamps have distinctive leaded glass shades and ornamental brass bases. Louis Comfort Tiffany revolutionized the artistic use of light bulbs in 1885, working with Thomas Edison on decorative and stage lighting for the New York Lyceum Theatre. In 1898, Tiffany’s glassworks began producing leaded glass lamp shades, using the same techniques which produced their famous stained glass windows. Tiffany manipulated the impurities in glass to create exquisite colors and patterns. The Dragonfly Lamp was designed between 1900 and 1906, by Clara Driscoll. Tiffany preferred using women designers as he felt they had a better eye for color. Tiffany Lamps are coveted by collectors for their shimmering colors, artistic design and beautifully rendered metal work.

Courtesy Sotheby's

Tiffany Studios, Rare "Turtle-Back" Wall Sconce, circa 1905.

Original Tiffany Lamps can be worth anywhere from $4,000 to over 1 million dollars. At Sotheby’s auction, a rare Turtle-Back Wall Sconce, estimated at $20,000-$30,000, sold for $212,000. A dramatic Octopus Chandelier, estimated at $100,000-$150,000, sold for $350,000. An elegant Dragonfly Floor Lamp, estimated at $300,000-$500,000, sold for $675,000. Collectors snapped up these exceptional examples of Tiffany craftsmanship.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.