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Tiffany Studios New York "Windswept Tulip" Table Lamp

This Tiffany Studios lamp with a polychrome “Irregular Tulip ” shade dates from the early 20th century.  Composed of a colorful variety of streaked and mottled tiles, a bed of three clusters of vibrant to pale orange tulips, stirred in the wind, surrounds the shade, providing a “field mouse view” of blossoms, stalks and leaves in various stages of maturity against an open blue sky streaked with high clouds. The subtly patinated bronze “root” base, while formed by machine, was hand-finished to create a “hewn” appearance, while the early bronze cap is pierced with a fractal motif. Lamps with tulips as their subject, rendered in dynamic naturalistic settings, formed an important and popular part of Tiffany Studios earliest shade series.


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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: L-20234
Artist: Tiffany Studios New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1900-1910
Size: 16" diameter, 24" height
Materials:  Leaded Glass, Bronze
Shade signed: ''Tiffany Studios New York ‘'
Base signed: ''Tiffany Studios New York S199 396'' 
Literature: The “Irregular Tulip” shade, in variant colors, is pictured in: The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, by Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen and Nancy McClelland,   ppp.143-145, figures 35 and 36.

This shade belongs to Tiffany’s early oeuvre, and is one of his floral designs of inspired naturalism. It offers a scene of windswept and disordered beauty, where the tulips in various stages of bloom are tossed in an unseen breeze. The sense of windy commotion is supported by the high “sailor’s trousers” clouds, suggesting an airy sky, while the orange blooms seem to turn in the wind, some petals angled to exhibit the satiny sheen that reflects broad flashes of sunlight. In the wind, some of the blossoms have dropped their petals. Among the leaves, brown tiles streaked with orange near the shade’s lower rim suggest a more distant perspective of petals that have fallen in rich soil. Some of the heavier blossoms are weighed down by their own opulence, while others, still tightly furled, merely bend gracefully in the wind. The design surely represents what scholar Martin Eidelberg calls Tiffany’s “coloristic poems in praise of nature.” By 1910, the shade had been discontinued and, perhaps in response to changing tastes or the requirements of novelty, replaced by new, symmetrical tulip designs.