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Tiffany Studios New York "Tulip" Table Lamp

This breathtaking Tiffany Studios lamp is composed of a bed of fuschia and scarlet tulips surrounding the shade, providing a “field mouse view” of blossoms, stalks, and leaves in various stages of maturity against a mottled amber ground. Lamps with tulips as their subject, rendered in dynamic naturalistic settings, formed an important and popular part of Tiffany Studios' earliest shade series. The shade sits upon a pineapple base, which was the culmination of years of experimentation. Starting in 1898, Tiffany began a series of reticulated glass fuel lamps based upon Palloncino Venezianas (Venetian balloons). To create these vessels, seventeenth-century Murano artisans would blow glass through wirework cages. While colloquially called the “pineapple”, Tiffany’s glass base was modeled after the pomegranate. During the Renaissance, pomegranate textiles proliferated from the caliphate of Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-66) to the dresses of Venetian court ladies. The sumptuous Italian gold-brocaded red velvets with the pomegranate motif, “zetani vel lutati al lucciolati” as recorded in contemporary documents. were an indication of high social status: luxury, power. and sacredness. Between Tiffany’s glass technique and chosen motif, Tiffany’s blown glass base is a stunning ode to Venice.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: L-21407
Artist: Tiffany Studios New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1910
Dimensions: 13.75" diameter, 23.25" height.
Materials: Leaded Glass, Bronze
Shade Signed: Tiffany Studios New York
Base Signed: Tiffany Studios New York D856 with Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company monogram
Literature: A. Koch, ed., Die Ausstellung zu Turin 1902, Moderne Dekorative Kunst, Darmstadt, 1902, p. 278 (for a period photograph of the base model exhibited at the Turin Exposition of Industrial Arts, 1902) “Esposizione di Torino,” Arte italiana, Decorativa e Industriale, 1902, no. 12, p. 68 (for a period photograph of the base model exhibited at the Turin Exposition of Industrial Arts, 1902) R. Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass, New York, 1964, pl. iv (base model)

Louis Comfort Tiffany first fell in love with the red tulip as a young man during his trips to the Near East. While journeying through Persia and the Ottoman empire, Tiffany learned from his guide the lore and history of the Near East. Among his favorite stories was that of Farhad and Shirin, considered by many to be Persia’s Romeo and Juliet. A lowly stone cutter, Farhad met and fell in love with the fair Princess Shirin. The sultan was discontent with this turn of events and gave Farhad a series of impossible tasks. Just as Farhad was about to finish, the sultan sent one of his courtiers to tell Farhad that Shirin was dead. In a fit of despair, Farhad threw himself off the mountain. When Shirin saw Farhad’s dead body, she too took her life, and from each drop of blood upon the earth formed a blood-red tulip.