NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
annual sale of Important Tiffany will take place on 18 December 2013 in New York and presents a highly curated selection of the firms celebrated leaded glass lighting, favrile glass and bronze fancy goods. Among the highlights is a rare Bat table lamp circa 1905 with an exquisite mosaic glass base embellished with bats, formerly from the collection of the Louis C. Tiffany Garden Museum, Japan (est. $550/750,000). The present lot depicts nocturnal bats flying against a midnight azure blue sky dotted with stars. Only a few examples are presently known of this exceedingly rare model, each displaying variations in color palette and leading treatment. The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, 14 December 2013 in New York.
Another extraordinary offering in the auction is an important piano designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany for his studio in the Charles Tiffany Residence, 72nd Street and Madison Avenue, New York. The piano has remained in the Tiffany family since its original date of creation in 1888 and has resided in only three locations in the past 125 years (est. $200/300,000). After Louis C. Tiffanys death in 1935, the piano was moved to the Laurelton Hall estate on Long Island, where it was placed in Laurel Hollow, the residence built for Tiffanys daughter, Comfort Tiffany Gilder. Between 1936 and 1939, the Gilder family left Laurelton Hall for Massachusetts, bringing the piano to their new residence in Tyringham. The piano resided there until it was relocated to New York for the present auction. The piano is painted with a distinctive, elaborate decoration of stylized cypress and palm trees set under an arcade with six-pointed stars set in spandrel and several other geometric patterns. The silver paint edged with gold simulates the mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture that made Damascus famous.
The Important Tiffany sale features a particularly strong selection of leaded glass lamps including a magnificent Wisteria table lamp from the collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, which has an exquisite range of deep cobalt blue glass (est. $600/800,000). The Wisteria lamp is recognized as an icon of American design and one of Tiffany Studios most accomplished masterworks in leaded glass. The fully saturated and artistic glass selection of the present example distinguishes it as one of the finest examples ever to appear on the auction market. Twelve lots come from the estates of Dr. Laurence and Dorothy Grossman, Nashville, Tennessee, with exceptional offerings including a Daffodil and Narcissus table lamp with a rare and elaborate twisted base (est. $100/150,000) and a Double Poinsettia table lamp (est. $120/180,000). The sale features a fine selection of lamps and table articles from the Geyer Family Collection, including a Dragonfly Lamp circa 1905 with a rare reticulated blown glass Pineapple base (est. $80/120,000).
The favrile glass featured in the sale displays a wide range of the firms decorative techniques, led by a rare Lava Vase circa 1904-1906 from a California collector (est. $20/30,000). Rare because of their challenging technical construction with thick, applied gold trailings reminiscent of molten ash, Lava vases were only made during a brief period in the companys history in the mid-1900s. A monumental Millefiore paperweight vase circa 1898-1900 demonstrates both the technical and formal artistry of the Paperweight technique (est. $30/50,000). This example is distinguished by its impressive monumental scale and highly artistic, naturalistic decoration.