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Tiffany Studios New York "Turtleback" Desk Lamp


In this Tiffany Studios New York "Turtleback" desk lamp, a dark patinated bronze base is set against two extra large, dichroic amber "Turtleback" tiles. The head of this unique table lamp swivels, revealing one beautifully heavy, and yet iridescent and light, "Turtleback" tile in the front, paired with its twin tile in the back. These are framed by bronze beads, the tilting shade set with two large Favrile turtleback tiles while the base adorns sixteen Favrile cabochons.


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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: L-21431
Artist: Tiffany Studios New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 15" height, 10" width, 5" deep.
Materials: Glass, Bronze
Base Signed: Tiffany Studios New York D801 with Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. Monogram - additional tag added 16775
Literature: A similar lamp is pictured in: Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1988, p. 87, plate 337.

The interlaced strapwork motif that repeats itself throughout the lamp's zodiac design was inspired by Celtic and Norwegian Viking prototypes. To Louis Comfort Tiffany, the Celtic interlace motif evoked the richly-encrusted cover of an early medieval book. This allusion closely relates to the desk lamps place in an office—a light in a place of unfettered learning.