Japans famed Garden Museum Collection was known for the assembly of the finest Tiffany masterworks ever produced. Michaans
held the honor of presenting a portion of the collection in the first Treasures of Louis C. Tiffany from the Garden Museum, Japan Auction held on November 17, 2012. The auction led to an unprecedented sales figure for Michaans, becoming its highest grossing sale to date with a total of over $4 million. Upon the success of the first offering, a follow-up Tiffany sale is now scheduled for May 18, 2013. Over 75 very fine lots originating from the Garden Museum will be featured, accompanied by additional Tiffany consignments from other private sources. Discriminating buyers from around the world will now have yet another exclusive opportunity to bid on magnificent Tiffany treasures.
Two important Tiffany floor lamps lead the Garden Museum highlight selections. Both are in excellent condition and are exceptional glasswork examples in their own right. An Oriental Poppy floor lamp standing 79 inches in height is a spectacular example of Tiffanys brilliant mastery of color. Petals were executed in ample cuts, allowing large sections of concentrated color to shine through. The red blossoms in this piece wonderfully reflect technique and bring the flowers to life in quite an inspiring way ($600,000-800,000). Another top-tier example is found in a Yellow Rose floor lamp ($750,000-900,000). The lamp is an exceedingly rare piece, sure to be coveted by the most knowledgeable of Tiffany collectors as only one other example is known. Branched, lemon yellow blooms spray out amongst a trellis backdrop, creating a beautiful juxtaposition of intricate design.
An additional piece of Tiffany lighting is offered in a geranium table lamp ($150,000-200,000). The conical shade is fashioned with standing geraniums, peaking out from broad leaves. The lamp is completed by a bulbous bronze base decorated with a blue and green palette of mosaic tiles. The mosaic bases are highly coveted, considered to be the most desirable by Tiffany enthusiasts.
Several original paintings by Louis Comfort Tiffany also make an appearance at this auction. Included are a 1925 oil on canvas titled Painting on the Beach at an auction estimate of $40,000-60,000. Tiffanys personal nurse, Sarah Hanley, and a fellow artist are depicted painting on a South Florida beach. The bright and airy composition incorporates expressed color and light, playing out the idyllic scene. Another Tiffany artwork in the auction is found in a watercolor on paper deemed Desert Scene ($35,000-50,000). Tiffany was fascinated by North Africas intriguing combination of exoticism, daunting vistas and intense sunlight. He credited his painting excursions to Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and the Levant with awakening him to the importance of color. In painting Desert Scene, Tiffany combined opaque and transparent watercolor pigments to create the effect of heat haze, giving the work marked depth and perspective.
An outstanding Tiffany armchair is to be included in the offered lots ($120,000-140,000). The massive oak and quilted silk velvet chair was originally designed for the New York residence of sugar refining magnate Henry O. Havemeyer. A repeating, interlaced strapwork design is utilized throughout the carved oak frame as well as the quilted upholstery, giving nod to Celtic and Norwegian Viking prototypes. The mate to this chair is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Decorative works of art from the Garden Museum Collection are quite varied in the sale, providing an exciting representation of artistic disciplines produced by Tiffany Studios. Amongst the offered lots is a circa 1900 Calla Lily and Poppy enamel-on-copper vase ($70,000-90,000), also an enamel-on-copper Sagittaria vase whose lip displays a foliage form ($70,000-90,000), a bronze candlestick decorated with Favrile glass balls ($30,000-40,000), a Scarab humidor ($35,000-40,000), a bronze Casket inkwell inset with Favrile glass turtleback tiles ($30,000-40,000) and an important set of Tiffany & Company mixed metal silver exhibited at the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Rounding out the highlighted Tiffany selections are many examples of vases and blown glass, as well as several Tiffany windows.
An addition to this sale will be four extraordinary modern works in glass by Steven Stelz as well as a contemporary stained glass window in the style of Tiffany by Michael Mattei.