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Tiffany Studios New York "Bamboo" Candlestick

This elaborate Tiffany Studios New York "Bamboo" candlestick combines the opulence of the French Ancien regime and the restrained beauty of Japanese design. The gold iridescent “tulip” shade is painted with a row of upright enamel swords, fleur-de-lis and medieval crosses. Both the fleur de lis and the sword were used in heraldic ceremonies, namely the French knighting (accolade) ceremony. The candlestick's cross pattern derives from the famous Canterbury Cathedral Reliquary Casket of St Thomas Becket, made famous by its inclusion in Owen Jones’ “Grammar of Ornament.”

The patinated bronze base is comprised of a bamboo shoot and roots. Tiffany had long been fascinated with the aesthetics of bamboo, incorporating bamboo panels in William Henry Vanderbilt's Japanese parlor (1883.) Tiffany considered Bamboo to be one of the essential elements of global architecture, "The hut made of woven bamboo has left its ineffaceable mark upon the architecture of more than half the peoples of the earth." Its versatility allowed it to transform from the frame of a primitive dwelling to the furniture of a Japanese emperor.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: T-20413
Artist: Tiffany Studios New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1910
Dimensions: 5" diameter, 15.25" height
Materials:  Favrile glass, patinated bronze
Signed:  ''L.C.T. Favrile.” and "Tiffany Studios New York 1205''
Literature: Koch, Robert. 1971. Louis C. Tiffany's Glass - Bronzes - Lamps. Crown. p. 101


The candlestick base was inspired by the Japanese Arrow bamboo that Tiffany grew in his greenhouse on his garden estate, Laurelton Hall. The species had just been introduced to America ten years ago and were still a relative rarity. In 1925, Tiffany foundation fellow, Alan Dunn, painted Tiffany's arrow bamboo hemmed in Fan Palm Fronds and Banana leaves. The greenhouse transported the viewer, as Dunn proclaimed, "into the lands of Araby, with no path or stairway that fails to lead to surprise." From feudal times to the time of the candlestick's production, the arrow bamboo was employed in the manufacture of Japanese arrow shafts; as a result of which the arrow bamboo acquired its name.