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"Sauterelle" Bar

From an edition of two Impressed FRANCOIS-XAVIER/LALANNE/70 with artist's monogram Over the course of his multi-decade career, Francois-Xavier Lalanne inspired and delighted viewers with his sculptural interpretations of the natural world. In his extensive and diverse body of work, much of which he co-created with his wife, Claude, Lalanne experimented with imagery, aesthetics, material, and functionality to ignite curiosity and endear his whimsical sculptures. Flora and fauna become cleverly stylized. Animals cast in metal are depicted with soft, expressive features. The scale of his subjects is unexpectedly expanded or reduced. Unlikely plant, animal, and human forms coalesce into charming creatures drawn from fantasy. Never quite what they seem, Lalannes creations are brought to life through the artists incorporation of an imaginative element of surprise. In some of his most exciting work, Lalanne exercised his incredible technical ingenuity to surprise us with transformation and utility. Lalanne rejected that art and decoration are mutually exclusiveboth he and Claude preferred their works to be enjoyed in the intimacy of the home or to exist freely in a public garden, not beyond the viewers reach in a museum or gallery. Governed by this philosophy, the thoughtfully conceived functionality of Lalannes sculptures both bewilders and domesticates what might otherwise be a fantastic or supernatural form. With a simple movement, a bird spreads its wings and transforms into a table. A wooly sheep provides comfortable seating. A gorilla pulls open its chest to expose a safe.  Nature is transformed into sculpture and sculpture physically transforms into utility. The present lot, Lalannes exquisite Sauterelle, is at one moment a wild, oversized sculpture of a grasshopper, and the next instant its body opens to function as a bar. Executed in 1970, Sauterelle made its public debut in the same year at an exhibition dedicated to the work of Les Lalannes at Galerie Alexandre Iolas in Paris. It is one of only two examples made with luxurious Sèvres porcelain; the other was presented as a gift by President Georges Pompidou to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1972, where it remains in their collection today. The bar furniture piece is one that Lalanne explored in multiple animal formshippopotamus, carp, a polymorphic cat. He created sculptures with similar mechanisms to transform into desks, wash basins, even a fireplace within the belly of a baboon. Though his work is wonderfully witty and original, it is not without the influence of history. It is apparent the ways in which Lalanne was inspired by the Surrealist movement and the innovation of convertible 18th century French furniture.  The often massive scale of his sculpture, including that of Sauterelle, references Lalannes personal experience working as a guard in the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries at the Louvre. There, alone in the galleries during closed hours, Lalanne had the ancient monumental stone sculptures to himself to revel in their quiet yet overwhelming power and dignity. With its hinged porcelain plates closed, the larger-than-life Sauterelle has striking sculptural presence. The sharp angles of its welded steel legs bring energy and dynamism to the work, almost making us believe it might suddenly spring into the air. When opened, the revelation of its utility tames the imposing yet charismatic beast by inviting viewers to approach and interact. Its wings rise up and outward to offer a surface to rest your drink. It is this clever synthesis of art and function, fantasy and familiarity, that makes Sauterelle a quintessential work within Lalannes oeuvre. It is exemplary of what art critic John Russell described as a complex art: one which mates Ancient Egypt with Alice in Wonderland, zoology with cabinet-making, metaphysics with personal adornment. It is also an art of psychic equilibrium. Its basic temper is inquisitive, undiscouraged, resourceful. It is there to work for us, yet it is not at all servile. It has its own life, and it leads it, and we are the richer for its being around.

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-05-24
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"Wisteria" Table Lamp

The “Wisteria” lamp model is one of the most iconic lamp designs produced by Tiffany Studios.  Its complex pattern is comprised of nearly 2,000 pieces of glass that had to be individually selected and cut.  Consequently, each "Wisteria" lamp possesses its own distinct color variations.  This particular example has an exquisite range of deep cobalt blue glass, and the lower panicles are selectively accented in rich jewel-toned aqua.  The overall effect achieved by the glass selection is lyrical and full of movement, capturing the lushness of the wisteria vine in bloom.  The shade and base are both impressed with the firm’s production number, 10116, reinforcing that both components originated together from the time of manufacture.  In 1906, the price for a "Wisteria" lamp was $400.00, making it one of the more expensive lamps in Tiffany’s line.  As revered as this luxury item was in the period, the "Wisteria" lamp is now widely 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. Shade with small early tag impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORKunderside of bronze armature on shade impressed 10116top of base standard impressed 10116base plate impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/10116outer perimeter edge of underbase impressed 10116 and 1   

  • USAUSA
  • 2013-12-18
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An ormolu and enamel musical automaton 'jardinière' table clock, the

5½-inch enamel dial with centre seconds, paste-set bezel, the rear wound three train chain fusee movement with verge escapement, rack striking on a bell, the musical train playing one of four tunes at the hour on a nest of eight bells with eight hammers and supplying the driving force for the automaton, the case with canted scroll corners, urn finials, pierced scroll side panels, and friezes and inset with panels of blue basse-taille enamel decorated in green and gilt with trailing leaves and flowers, the rectangular jardinière on boldly cast sunflower feet and set with similar enamel panels and containing a leafy tree surmounted by an automaton pomegranate and butterfly, The 17th and 18th Centuries saw an explosion of European interest in all things Chinese. The import of goods such as tea, silks and porcelain from China grew rapidly but it was a one-way trade with the Chinese showing little interest in English commodities. The East India Company found that trading conditions were never easy and it was often essential to present lavish gifts in order to facilitate deals. High quality novelty clocks and watches made in London proved popular gifts and, as they filtered into the upper echelons of Chinese society, demand for these 'sing-songs' increased. Ian White in his book English Clocks for the Eastern Markets explains in detail about the growth in this trade and collecting in China. In England there was a drive to make more accurate time keepers, often housed in fine quality though plain cases. In China there was little interest in time keeping but a fascination with musical and automaton functions.  The English merchants and some clockmakers capitalised on this desire by making evermore elaborate and fanciful clocks and many of the finest examples were acquired by the Qing Emperors.At the same time, Chinese workshops began to make their own versions of these elaborate clocks although, initially, they still relied on the import of English clock movements. The workshops at Guangzhou became particularly adept at producing enamel panels in the Swiss style but, to begin with, they struggled to replicate the fine surface finish that the Swiss had perfected. The Qing court appears to have been particularly fond of clocks that incorporated planted jardinières and examples are known from both English and Chinese workshops. Five Chinese examples were shown in an exhibition in Hong Kong in 1987 entitled Tributes from Guangdong to the Qing Court. Two further examples were included in the Nezu Museum Sale, Christies, Hong Kong, 27th May 2008, Lots 1505 and 1509. It is interesting to note the angled scroll corners to the case of the present clock. This is a feature particularly found on English Chinese market cases by Henry Borrel, John Mottram and Robert Philp and several examples are illustrated by Ian White, op.cit., pp. 223-230. Robert Philp is recorded in directories as working as a musical clock maker at 6 New Court, St John Street, Clerkenwell between 1776 and 1800. Philp is known to have supplied clocks for the Chinese market and, most importantly, he supplied musical clock movements to be cased in the Chinese workshops at Guangzhou. An example with a movement by Philp was sold Christies, London, 6th July 2001, Lot 40.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2016-07-06
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A Rare "Trumpet Creeper" Table Lamp

With a large "Tree" base Shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/346-1underside of bronze armature on shade impressed 7879 (partially effaced)base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/348 Tiffany Studios paired the large "Tree" base with all of their irregular border shades, including the "Trumpet Creeper," "Wisteria," "Grape" and "Apple Blossom" models.  A late 1890s photograph from the study collection of Agnes Northrop depicting trees in Gibraltar with exposed root systems may point to the original source of inspiration for this base design. A Garden of Creepers Trumpet creeper, wisteria, grape, laburnum, clematis—Tiffany loved flowering vines both as a designer and as a gardener.  He admired them not only for the blossoms’ beautiful colors and interesting shapes but also for the way they freely grew across boundaries, “giving a charm and graceful unity to everything.”  Transom windows depicting wisteria enriched rooms in Tiffany’s Madison Avenue mansion and Laurelton Hall. Similar vines crawl across the tops of the many domestic windows that Tiffany Studios executed for clients’ homes across the country such as the magnificent window from the Beltzhoover mansion in Irving-on-the-Hudson where flowering wisteria and clematis vines frame the view (fig. 1). It was a natural progression for Clara Driscoll, the chief designer for his floral lamps, to adapt the idea of a leaded glass wisteria window into a lamp and represent sculpturally the sense of a twisted, creeping vine and pendant leaves and blossoms.  She did this around 1902, and then she went on to create similar lamps with trumpet creeper, grape, and other vines.  The essential form of the shade remained the same, as did the base with its twisted vine stems.  All that need to be adjusted was the pattern of leaves, flowers and branches. The small metal tag with a model number soldered onto the leading inside this shade indicates that this was probably one of the first examples of the Trumpet Creeper shade to be produced.  The tag has both the model number “346” and the suffix “—1.” These so-called “dash numbers” were introduced early on when the lamp business first began to flourish and were nothing more than an accounting system to regulate the stock.  Each pattern was assigned a model number, and then, as the shades were produced, each example was marked with a suffix in numerical sequence.  Thus this shade was the very first one made once the system was introduced.  (Ultimately, though, this system was abandoned and just the model number was attached.) But even without the dash number and without knowing that the lamp had been given as a wedding present in 1906, one might surmise that this was an early example because of the great care taken in the selection of the glass.  Although the flowers of the trumpet creeper are essentially uniform in color, here they are an extraordinarily rich mixture of yellows, oranges and reds, just as the leaves are not merely green but have flashes of yellow and orange.  As in an Impressionist painting, the effect is a rich orchestration of broken color.  Tiffany and his staff were inspired by Nature but ultimately improved and transcended it. -Martin Eidelberg, Co-Author of  The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Author of Tiffany Favrile Glass and the Quest of Beauty and Tiffany Favrile Pottery and the Quest of Beauty

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-12-15
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A highly important german silver sabbath and festival hanging lamp (judenstern)

Of three tier tower form, partly pierced with scrolls and geometric motifs: the top tier with partly tiled windowed dome with openwork coronet pierced with strapwork and double-headed eagles displayed below trefoils, the dome surrounded by a gallery occupied by eight figures with emblems as follows: Rosh Hashana - shofar and book, Purim - scroll and rattle, Passover - matzah and matzah scorer, Hanukah - menorah and ewer, Yom Kippur - knife and slain chicken, Shavuot - Tablets of the Law, Sukkot - lulav and etrog, Sabbath - havdalah candleholder and spice box; applied below with windows screened by strapwork and mask panels alternating  with spiraled pilasters topped by deer alternating with stylized mermaids;  the middle tier applied with alternate round and square windows, the first with wheel-like screens, the second with grids, spaced by spiraled  pilasters  matching those in the top section, all below a cast openwork rim of  fleurs-de-lys and scrolls; the lower tier applied with lion masks alternating with cannon-form fountain heads, spaced by mermaid-headed pilasters, all framed by two horizontal openwork borders of fleurs-de-lys and scrolls; the tower mounted by central rod and three slip-locks on an oil reservoir with star-shaped  projection of ten paneled spouts, each engraved underneath with two bands of diminishing scrolling foliage; the center of the base with large lion mask, from which is suspended the half-baluster drip-bowl chased with three hounds pursuing a stag, doe and rabbit within ragged foliage on matted ground, melon-form terminal; the tower with five detachable candle branches formed of cast openwork scrollwork fronted by a grotesque head, each suspending a bell and supporting a plain drip-pan and sconce, marked on all sections and four-drip-pans with maker’s mark of Johann Adam Boller and Frankfurt city mark, circa 1710; the lamp suspended from a silver two-piece saw-edged ratchet with four cast eagle-head terminals, the top applied with two cast double headed eagles displayed, marked on each piece with maker’s mark of Jacob Loschhorn and city mark of Frankfurt, circa 1770. Together with ten silver drip-channels, chased except for one with flames, nine with maker’s mark I L F in trefoil, also stamped 12, East German or Polish, late 18th century. This lamp is one of the most complete of a small group of highly-decorated silver “Judenstern” Sabbath lamps.  Probably the richest productions of the golden age of Frankfurt Jewry, they speak to the wealth and sophistication of that community in the early 18th century. the frankfurt ghetto While other southern German cities were expelling their Jewish populations in the late 16th century, Frankfurt allowed its ghetto to remain; it soon became the largest Jewish community in Germany.  Despite the Fettmilch riots in the early 17th century, the community prospered.  Laws governing the Frankfurt ghetto were supposed to restrict its population to 500 families, with a maximum of 12 marriages per year.  However, the reality of the extensive Jewish population made the ghetto one of the most densely populated places in Europe.  Families of Court Jews and recent immigrants from farm communities were all crowded together into the short stretch of the Judengasse.  From 1718, the Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna granted official recognition to representatives of the ghetto, although restrictive laws remained in place through the end of the 18th century. Sumptuary laws give another insight into the richness of the Frankfurt community, and the role of a family’s silver pieces.  In 1715 – after the terrible 1711 fire which almost totally destroyed the ghetto – the Jewish Council restricted what silver objects could be displayed at the Spinholtz, the reception held at the bride’s house on Friday afternoon before the Saturday evening ceremony.  The three permitted forms were a leuchter, a lamp, and a becher, presumably the Sabbath light, the Hanukah lamp, and the Kiddush beaker (Weber, op. cit., p. 174).  Thus, these forms were not just for private devotion, but had a public display role, proclaiming the wealth and magnificence of the families involved. the tower-form “judenstern” sabbath lamps Guido Schoenberger finds the origin of these lamps in Roman hanging lamps with central reservoir and a rosette shape for the wicks to protrude. The Jewish form develops through the Middle Ages into a star form of Messianic significance.  He notes that silver versions were already being made in Frankfurt in the 16th century, entered into the Hallmarking Books of the Frankfurt Goldsmiths’ Guild in 1540 and 1557, under the name of “ein silberner Judenstern” (op.cit., p.196-197). He relates the cannon-form fountain spouts to the fountains found in the centers of European cities such as the “Schone Brunnen” of Nuremberg, a silversmithing center with wide influence. Schoenberger ties the idea of a fountain to Psalm 36:10: “For with Thee is the fountain of life, in Thy light do we see light.” The Sabbath is greeted as a “fountain of blessing” in “Lekha dodi”, a hymn of welcome that was incorporated into synagogue services in Frankfurt in the late 17th century. However the idea of a fortified tower with figures is an appropriate image for the strength of the Jewish Faith.  Spice boxes were usually modeled in tower form, based on town hall, church or castle towers which would have landmark status at the time and thus be an image coming readily to mind.  However, the degree of elaboration seen on the Steinhardt lamp is greater than examples known to survive in actual masonry.  This suggests that these tower-form lamps are a conceit made partly from real examples and partly probably from temporary architecture such as used for processions or masques.  Fantastic towers also appeared in table decorations, both edible in stuffs such as marzipan, or worked in silver and gilt metal.  Especially popular in Germany  in the 16th and  17th century, nefs or ships - sometimes with projecting cannon - could be manned with numerous small figures of sailors and soldiers (see John Hayward, Virtuoso Goldsmiths, 1540-1620, 1976, item 548, p.391, for a Strasbourg example).  The fantastic architecture used on the sterns of real galleons may have been another inspiration, with their superimposed bands of windows framed in fantastic carving, topped by a balustrade, and the sides bristling with cannon. surviving lamps Seven lamps are known from late 17th and early 18th century Frankfurt; the style had a coda in Nuremberg in the later 18th century.  All of the Frankfurt examples are the products of a close group of associated goldsmiths. Three of the lamps have a partly-open body populated with figures, giving more of the feeling of a gazebo or pavilion than a fortified tower; these are particularly close to fantastic stage or festival architecture of the baroque.  Traditionally, these have been dated earlier than the closed tower examples: j.v. schüller, frankfurt, “the rothschild lamp," jewish museum, new york, jm 37-52[i] This lamp has just one row of lion masks and cannon, separated by fantastic masks, below a bell-hung pavilion of slender columns with emblematic figures standing between.  The truncated column top is pierced with crescents and rosettes. j.v. schüller, frankfurt. jewish museum, new york, f2707[ii] A partially reconstructed lamp, the central stem has a band of alternating lion masks and cannon, topped by one of protruding rosettes in two patterns, than a third tier of alternating square and circular grilled windows below the openwork pavilion.  Here, the figures front the columns supporting a crown-form openwork dome. j.a. boller, frankfurt, “the lehman lamp,” temple emanu-el, new york[iii] By the same maker as the Steinhardt lamp, this lamp has an upper tier of candle arms as well as the star of oil lamps.  The chasing on these radiating lights, centered by a lion mask, matches the offered piece, and Salomonic columns on the balustrades and inverted tulip dome recall the Steinhardt lamp, but the body is composed of pierced foliage, without any of the cannon, grilled windows, or lion masks of other lamps in the group. The second group of lamps derives from the first, but with a more architectural “turret” top and without the openwork pavilion. j.v. schüller, frankfurt, skirball museum, los angeles.[iv] This lamp has three tiers, tripped with the fleur-de-lys border, but without emblematic figures of candle arms.  The lowest tier of lion heads is spaced with roundels which were probably originally cannon ends; the second tier is circular and square grilled windows, while the third tier now has plain roundels. j.a. boller, frankfurt, “the steinhardt lamp,” the offered lot j.a. boller, frankfurt. jewish museum, new york, f4400.[v] A little-published lamp also in the Jewish Museum, this piece is probably closest to the Steinhardt lamp, with similar star, drip pan, three tiers, and candle arms.  The figures are mounted, not at the top of the three architectural tiers, but on an additional gallery mounted partway up the tall spire. george wilhelm schedel, frankfurt, dated 1738/39, consistoire, paris, on loan to the israel museum (l-b86.0017;117/220.)[vi] A three-tiered lamp with a drip pan by J.C. Scüller, this piece is so close to the previous two Boller lamps as to suggest it was either made under Boller’s supervision or closely following his design and using his molds.  The balcony does not have a full complement of emblematic figures. It is worth mentioning another group of lamps, as they seem to be the following generation of the Frankfurt model.  The silhouette, with its little turrets, is much more architectural, and very close to surviving structures in Germany. Johann Jacob Runecke, Fürth (outside Nuremberg), circa 1780, “The Sassoon Lamp,” New York Private Collection.[vii] Martin Carl Haniagen. Dublon, Nuremberg. Historische Museum, Hannover.[viii] Maker unknown, probably Nuremberg. formerly Paris, Coll. A Fischel [i] Vivian B. Mann and Richard I Cohen, eds. From Court Jews to the Rothschilds: Art, Patronage and Power, 1600-1800, Munich: Prestel, 1996, no. 127, p. 184 [ii] Purchased from Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, January 4, 1951, Gothic Renaissance Art: Furniture, Sculpture, Bronzes [iii] Cissy Grossman, A Temple Treasury: The Judaica Collection of Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York, New York, 1989, no 87, pp.104-106 [iv] New Beginnings, The Skirball Museum Collections and Inaugural Exhibition, pl. 15, p. 36 [v] Formerly private collection Frankfurt, reproduced Guido Schoenberger, “A Silver Sabbath Lamp from Frankfort-on-the-Main” in Essays in Honor of Georg Swarzenski, 1951, p.197, illus. fig.3, p.195 [vi] With an earlier drip bowl by J. V. Schüler. Illustrated Victor A. Klagsbald, Jewish Treasures from Paris, from the Collections of the Cluny Museum and the Consistoire. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 1982, no. 67 [vii] Sold Sotheby’s Tel Aviv, April 24, lot 19 [viii]  Nurnberger Goldschmiedekunst, 1541-1868, no 97, illus. p. 734 the boller-schüller circle The lamps come from a Frankfurt workshop started by Johann Valentin Schüller (master 1680), and continued by his brother Johann Michael Schüller (master 1684), and the latter’s brother-in-law Johann Adam Boller (master 1706).  The first two were the children of Michael Schüller, also a silversmith in Aschaffenburg. Johann Valentin Schüller was born in 1650 in Aschaffenburg, and became apprentice to Jacob Rap in 1666, master in 1680, married in 1680, Anna Margaretha  Guldemundt, daughter of a shoemaker. He died in 1726.  His younger brother, Johann Michael Schüller, was born in 1658, became master in 1684 and in the same year married Anna Catharina, daughter of the musician Johann Adolff Boller.  He married secondly in 1706 Anna Gertraud Gras and died in 1718. Johann Adam Boller, son of the musician Johann Adolff, became master in 1706 and married in 1707 Catharina Hardt, daughter of Johann Jacob Hardt. He died in 1732 Georg  Wilhelm Schedel, baptized  in 1698 son of Johann Schedel zu Oberkotzau im  Voigtland, became master in 1722 and married in the same year  Anna Catharina Reutlinger, daughter of silversmith Elias Reutlinger.  On her death in 1726 he married Helena Steffan, daughter of the chapel musician Henrich Moritz Steffan, and died in 1762. Rötger (Rudiger) Herfurth was born in 1722 son of Johann Joachim Herfurth, silver dealer and  his first  wife Anna Margaretha  Bein, became master in 1748 and married first in 1749 Maria  Elisabeth Hoffmann and secondly in 1761 Rebecca Jenichen  and died in 1776. Johann Jacob Löschhorn (Leschhorn) was baptised in 1740 son of silversmith Jacob; master in 1769 and died in 1787. Biographical information taken from Wolfgang Scheffler, Goldschmiede Hessens, 1976. In Crowning Glory, Silver Torah Ornaments of the Jewish Museum, New York, p. 83 Rafi Grafman examines the relationship between these makers and indicates that the Schüllers, Boller and Schedel ran the same workshop from about 1680 till the middle of the 18th century. The branches which support the sconces on the present lamp are cast from the same molds as the Torah Shield by Schüller, lot 94 in this sale.  The same castings may be seen in the Shield formerly in the Furman Collection, by Johann Valentin Schüller, (Bezalel Narkiss, Treasures of Jewish Art from the Jacabo and Asea Furman Collection of Judaica, pp. 56-57).

  • USAUSA
  • 2013-04-29
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An Important "Peony" Table Lamp

With a rare "Mosaic and Turtle-Back" tile base Shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1505-37underside of removable socket cluster unit impressed 2 twicetop interior rim of base impressed 2base plate impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/2674 The present “Peony” shade was purchased from Sotheby’s New York in 2005 paired with an exceptional “Jeweled” base, now being offered by itself in lot 229.  One auction season earlier, the Geyer Family had purchased at Christie’s New York one of Tiffany’s most iconic and spectacular bases, the “Mosaic and Turtle-Back" tile model, which originated at the Tavern Club, a private gentleman’s club in Cleveland, Ohio, where it was paired with a “Geometric” shade and displayed on the library table of the main lounge.  The lamp was given to the club by a member in lieu of payment of dues in 1905, and remained the property of the club until its sale in 2004.  However, not only was the shade battered from years of lighthearted abuse by the members, but the lamp’s presentation was a radical juxtaposition of price and quality.  The base model, recorded in the 1906 Price List as model number 355 and priced at $300, was considerably more expensive than the majority of available shades.  Ordinarily paired with the firm's most premium large-scaled lamp shades, such as the “Hanging Head Dragonfly” (such a lamp is in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago), or the extremely rare “Landscape” (a famous example was sold at Sotheby’s New York, The Mecom Collection, April 22, 1995, lot 66), the Geyer Family set out to create the quintessential unit and united this sumptuous "Peony" shade with the Tavern Club base. Peony--the Flower of Prosperity, Honor and Romance This magnificent Peony shade must have been executed in the Women’s Glass Cutting Division headed by Clara Driscoll, since she and her “Tiffany Girls” had the prerogative to make all leaded glass shades with floral subjects.  In all probability Driscoll herself designed it, since that was her responsibility and privilege.  Although she did not refer to this model in her many years of correspondence with her family, she designed it before October 1906 since the model (number 1505) is cited in Tiffany Studios’ 1906 Price List. With its lush, overblown blossoms, the Peony shade is one of the firm’s largest and richest designs, offering a wonderful opportunity for the selector to enrich the composition with a wide range of red glass ranging here from pink to red to deep crimson and purple.  This example is particularly rich, not only in color but also in its varied types of mottled and rippled glass, and this may well be due to the fact that it was made early on in production, when greater care was given to each object.  The so-called dash-number tag inside the shade suggests that it was the thirty-seventh example of this design, a measure of its great popularity.  Its popularity was due not only to its colorful floral beauty but also to certain practical concerns:  its generously sized dome, almost two feet wide, allowed great quantities of light to radiate out.  Unlike many of the Tiffany Studios lamps that were more decorative than functional, this model provides ample light for reading.  It is not surprising, then, that in 1910, when there was a general retrenchment in Tiffany Studios’ operations and many designs were discontinued, the Peony shade stayed in production and continued to be offered into the 1920s. Originally, this lamp base supported a Tiffany Studios Geometric shade.  The present arrangement, devised by the Geyers, is a splendid and appropriate use of the base.  The base is large and assertive, and requires a wide, strongly colored shade.  Like a rainbow, the base’s mosaic changes from a deep green at the bottom to deep blue, and the turtleback tiles at the top shift in tone from green to violet, an arrangement that accords with the palette of the Peony shade.  Indeed, this lamp base was designed with the idea that it should harmonize with different models of shades; it was not designed for just one.  Harmony of colors and materials was a key concern for Tiffany in all the works that bore his name, and this lamp evidences that practicality.  Art and commerce could be successfully joined. -Martin Eidelberg, Co-Author of The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Author of Tiffany Favrile Glass and the Quest of Beauty and Tiffany Favrile Pottery and the Quest of Beauty

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-12-15
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An Important "Elaborate Peony" Table Lamp

With a "Roman" base Shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1903base impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/529 This Elaborate Peony Table Lamp hails from a distinguished Brazilian family whose heritage lies in preserving a legacy of taste and refinement. A sage saying has been passed down through the generations: After a great defeat, always be able to play a piano; after all, you will never know when it will be necessary to rebuild your life. Indeed, every member of the family was required to learn the piano at a renowned conservatory, thereby learning the grace and sophistication of their forebearers and inheriting an asset that would stay with them irrespective of their material possessions. At the beginning of the 20th century, the patriarch of the family extended this tradition to the tangible, bequeathing upon his four children the essential heirlooms of a family. Each child thereby received a piano from Steinway & Sons, a painting by Pablo Picasso, and a lamp from Tiffany Studios. With the exception of the pianos, the whereabouts of these gifts was thought to have been lost to time. The present sale, however, sees the reemergence of one of these childrens Tiffany lamps, enabling the realization of the next chapter of this familys lore through a new lens. The peony blossom, with its extraordinary lushness and variation in color palette, was the ideal subject for Tiffanys leaded glass shades. The firm produced several variations of the floral motif, highlighting Tiffanys admiration for this springtime flower. The many delicate layers of petals depicted in the Elaborate Peonythe most complex and naturalistic of the firms peony shade variantsfeatures both full, mature blossoms and young, not-yet-bloomed buds, which punctuate the overall composition. Depicting both the fully-bloomed and yet-to-bloom flower imbues the composition with a wonderful Impressionistic quality, as if to capture a single, fleeting moment in nature. The present Elaborate Peony example is a tour de force, exemplifying Tiffanys unparalleled ability as a colorist. Tiffanys craftsmen often surpassed the colors found in nature when executing peony shades, using a range of predominantly pink glass, but the present shade stands apart. Here, luscious hues of magenta, fuschia, deep red, and soft pink combine with lavender, indigo, and violet to bring the peony blossoms to life. They are set against a background of cobalt and azure blue, creating an exceptionally rich display of favrile glass.

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-05-24
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1956 Fina Sport Convertible Coachwork by Vignale

1956 Fina Sport Convertible Coachwork by Vignale Chassis no. 7543 Engine no. 8S7543 331ci. OHV Cadillac V8 Engine Approximately 250bhp at 4,000rpm 4-Speed Cadillac Hydramatic Transmission Independent Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle 4-Wheel Drum Brakes *Sole surviving restored example of its marque *Built for Concours, freshly restored and ready to be shown *Winner of the Philadelphia Autorama Concours d'Elegance 1956 *Fascinating heritage of one of America's more colorful engineers PERRY FINA "An exclusive car ... handcrafted with exquisite care... to please the man of discriminating taste" This was Perry Fina's tag line when he announced his new Fina Sport in 1956, the culmination of years of knowledge of engineering, design and their clientele. Born in New York in the late nineteenth century, Perry arrived on the world at the right time for someone of his instincts. He got to see the nascent automobile industry and through his teens and twenties was quickly absorbed by it. Fina learnt with apprenticeships at FIAT and Isotta Fraschini, before returning home to practice those skills. By the 1930s he had set up business, with his son Joe in Manhattan on 54th Street, and immediately gained a reputation for ingenuity and 'breathing on' cars to make them go better through a variety of techniques. Using the contacts he had established in Europe he was able to obtain a license to import and sell Allard cars, and naturally those that he touched had a habit of going rather better than others, today one of these cars can be seen in the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia. He was known for creating specialized mechanical accessories, patenting his own muffler system for example. One client was the noted driver and author Karl Ludvigsen, who's MG TC was fitted with a Fina muffler, with which at the turn of a key it would run straight-through. He and Joe, were also known for campaigning their 1948 Nardi-Denese, which had originally been Alfa powered and used on the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, but they reconfigured with Cadillac power and campaigned in at North Eastern venues such as Watkins Glen. Along the way, he clearly harbored the desire to place his own name on the front of an automobile and this dream became a reality in 1956 with the appropriately titled Fina Sport. Perry drew on the resources and contacts he had to create the wild, individual and sporting automobile evidenced on these pages. When asked, he would state that his motivation as being that "Many of our foreign car customers with expensive Ferraris, Mercedes and other high quality cars would consult with us on the safety of a long trip; always fearing a break-down in some forsaken place a long way from home where service and parts would be impossible to obtain. It was this that started my son and I on a venture of building an American sports car with foreign influence and handling characteristics. Having had considerable experience in racing, we constructed a chassis with excellent handling qualities, along with all American components, including Cadillac or Chrysler engines." The first Fina Sport was built as a coupe, its power came from a Cadillac motor reworked by the Finas to give 300bhp. For its design, he could proudly proclaim, "We made arrangements with the Vignale Company of Torino Italy, for our coachwork and they do such an excellent job for us that our Fina Sport, with its elegant interior appointments and all leather work, is the most beautiful sports family car in America." It debuted at the 1954 World Motor Sports Show at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Finas confidence in its potential was immediately rewarded with a Grand Prix award in the Custom Sports Car class. The follow up to this was a convertible version, which two years later, when ready it was shown in Philadelphia at the Autorama, where it was lauded with the Concours d'Elegance prize. It is not entirely clear why the cars never made it into a more full blown production sequence, there was certainly promotion and a marketing push, but as far as anyone is aware just three automobiles were produced, a coupe and two convertibles. The price tag of $14,000 is often cited as the reason. THE MOTORCAR OFFERED This Fina Sport convertible is the only visible example of Fina's legacy today and the only one to have been totally restored to show condition and accurately represent what Perry was trying to achieve when he built his own car. Its survival is testament to the current owner, a passionate enthusiast for automobiles of all eras and genus, who stumbled across it in a small ad a number of years ago. Sharing the same fascinating that Fina had for the car, he elected to buy it with the goal of putting the car back 'on the map'. On acquiring '7543', the car takes its name from the Cadillac powerplant that it has always used, he began researching this fascinating tale. That quickly connected him to a man in Connecticut who had acquired much of the ephemera relating to the Fina story directly from Joe Fina, including the very trophy that it had won in New York, this 4ft high monolisc accompanies the car today as does the Philadelphia which was won by this car. With an exacting eye for the car's period details various period images of these cars were reviewed, together with a number of Vignale bodies and interiors, ensuring that even the few aspects which had migrated over time were accurately replaced. All told, the restoration has taken more than 2 years, and 1,000s of man hours. From stem to stern, this is a striking a fascinating automobile, rewarding in its every detail. At the nose, above its complicated chrome nose piece is an exquisite Fina Sport badge, highlighted with enamel; the hood is engineered so that the chrome spears either side of this are not compromised when it is raised, yet the lines continue when lowered; to the side of the body are further spears predating those on another Italian car, the 1980s Testarossa; throughout the design is the Fina's chosen elongated 'V' logo, which is dual purpose as it echoes the Cadillac 1950s V of its powerplant. Intriguingly, a full convertible top is present, which when raised gives much the illusion of the car being a two-seater rather than the more commodious cabin it has. At the car's rear, the Continental tire set up folds down entirely to reveal a large trunk, again with carefully engineered fender that aligns when stowed. The interior is beautifully rendered, with sumptuous leather seating for four. The dash is the pinnacle of simplicity, being painted finish and with Italian instrumentation, perhaps one of its more interesting details is a central tube hole, which has alluded countless experts as to its specific purpose, the owner settling for the possibility that it might have been used to stow a bottle of wine – in the more accepting style of the period! Restoration of the Fina Sport was completed in 2018, just in time for the annual Elegance at Hershey Concours d'Elegance. In the lead up to its debut, further research with the aid of noted car aficionado and Concours judge Paul Sable enabled the owner and members of the Fina family to be reunited with the car, a memorable occasion for all concerned. With the exception of the recent showing, the Fina Sport is yet to be shown at any of the major regional or international concours, but it is ripe and ready to do so. It will without question be a head turner and is sure to wow the judges and spectators alike with its looks and the tale of the remarkable man behind it, Perry Fina.

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-08-25
Hammer price
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"Wisteria" Table Lamp

With a "Tree" base Shade impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORKmounting post on underside of shade crown impressed 10117top of base column impressed 10117underside of base impressed 5base plate impressed TIFFANY STUDIOS/NEW YORK/10117 and 5 Tiffany's "Wisteria" table lamp model was the firm's most ambitious shade design. Created by Clara Driscoll in 1901, the incredible success of the model is owed to its embrace of the most desirable aesthetic themes that were in vogue at the turn of the century. Its complex design presented an opportunity to showcase the exceptional artistry and technical skill of Tiffanys craftsmen, and it is no wonder that by 1906 the Wisteria was the most expensive item offered by the firm, priced at $400. The wisteria vine was a popular subject in Japanese prints and paintings, which had a strong influence on American decorative arts and on Tiffany in particular.  In fact, the wisteria was so beloved by Louis C. Tiffany that he made them a prominent feature at his Laurelton Hall estate on Long Island, both indoors as leaded glass depictions and outdoors in the property's expansive gardens.  Beyond the reference to Japanese aesthetics in the wisteria blossom itself, Japonism is apparent in the simplification of the floral forms and the graphic quality of the leadwork, which similarly demonstrate Tiffanys embrace of conventionalized decorative motifs. This slight abstraction of the floral form is balanced by the shade's sensitive and faithful bronze depictions of gnarled vines on the shade crown and the textured tree trunk base, which show Tiffany's adherence to naturalism. Capturing the layers of delicate, dripping wisteria panicles in leaded glass was no easy task, requiring the innovation, ingenuity, and artistic vision that could only be found at Tiffany Studios. In this model, nearly 2,000 individually cut and selected favrile glass tiles culminate to create an impressionistic effect. The lyrical and painterly glass selection is redolent of Impressionism, imparting the blossoms with a sense of dimension.  In the present shade, rich cobalt and amethyst is incorporated with soft lavender and sky blue, creating the effect of sunlight falling on the petals. Distinguishing this lamp further, the lower panicles are accented in a range of jewel-tone hues.

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-05-24
Hammer price
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Friedrich Nerly, The Piazzetta di San Marco by Moonlight

Signed and dated lower left: F. Nerly 1849Inscribed to the reverse of the unlined canvas: F. N.Friedrich Nerly was born in Erfurt in 1807, but grew up in Hamburg following the early death of both his parents. He travelled to Italy in 1827 with his teacher Baron von Rumohr. After several stops, he eventually settled in Rome in late 1828 and resided there for six years. Instead of returning to Germany as planned, the artist moved to Venice in 1837, where he married the adoptive daughter of a Venetian aristocrat. Aside from several short sojourns, he did not leave the floating city until his death. The artist was buried on the island of San Michele di Murano in late October of 1878.Nerly's views of Venice were immensely popular among his contemporaries, and he received numerous important guests to the city in his studio, including royalty. This image of the Piazzetta di San Marco bathed in the silvery light of the moon was undoubtedly his most famous motif, and he painted it in numerous versions, of which no two were ever exactly alike. Alongside slightly cropped versions in which the columns of Saint Mark or Saint Theodore formed the focal point, he also painted more panoramic works featuring both columns, the Doge's palace, the Molo and a view of the lagoon. The present canvas is one of these more lavish examples.Wolfram Morath-Vogel describes the piazetta views in great detail in his comprehensive analysis of Nerly's works (exhib. cat. "Römische Tage - Venezianische Nächte. Friedrich Nerly zum 200. Geburtstag", Dessau, Lübeck and Paderborn 2007/8, p. 43-5). Here he touches upon the complex pictorial arrangement in which the Doge's palace appears to force itself into the image, partially obscuring the moon. Nerly never chose the more obvious compositional solution of bathing the entire scene in moonlight for his piazettas. "This sharp but irresolvable contrast between the dark, compact plane of the architecture and the small, bright segment of the moon is by no means a "comfortable" or "romantic" solution - and is instead even difficult for the eye to grasp." (Morath-Vogel, op. cit., p. 44). Morath-Vogel emphasises the carefully planned and complex nature of Nerly's compositions as something often overlooked in the face of their technical brilliance and enchanting atmosphere.

  • DEUGermany
  • 2016-05-21
Hammer price
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* Note that the price doesn’t correlate with today’s value, but only relates to the actual end price at the time of the purchase.

Lighting

Auctions with lighting objects, such as candlesticks, lamps, chandeliers and lanterns, can be found under this category. Classic chandeliers, design lighting and lamps from the mid-twentieth century are some of the objects that arouse great interest at auctions.