Tiffany Studios Dragonfly Table Lamp
Art glass, patinated bronze, metal
New York, c. 1910
Conical shade depicting seven dragonflies in green and amber colorways on an opalescent green ground with twenty-one green jewels, shade rim stamped Tiffany Studios New York, over four U-arm socket cluster raised on a Four Virtues base, verdigris patina, with heat cap, plate stamped Tiffany Studios, New York, 557, some stable cracks to glass, ht. 25 1/2, shade dia. 20 1/4 in.
Note: A dragonfly motif lamp was one of the two earliest leaded glass lamps offered by Louis C. Tiffany's firm, making its debut with the "Nautilus" desk lamp model, just prior to 1900. Although in general Tiffany did not credit individual designers for their work, in the case of the dragonfly model, the design is attributed to a female employee, Clara Driscoll. Driscoll's early design for a dragonfly lamp was illustrated in a catalog for Siegfried Bing's L'Art Nouveau exhibition held at the Grafton Galleries, London in 1899. This first "Dragonfly" lamp was strikingly different from Tiffany's earlier blown glass oil lamps with their abstract flowing surface decoration. Here instead was a conical shade composed entirely of leaded glass, with its principal motif taken directly from nature. A delicate metal filigree was used to bring realism to the shimmering wings of each dragonfly. Later versions of the shade used richly colored molded glass "jewels" throughout the shade to heighten the three-dimensional effect of the design.
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