Dragonflies and Water Flowers

Title: 
Dragonflies and Water Flowers

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Object Name: 
Reading Lamp
Title: 
Dragonflies and Water Flowers
Accession Number: 
2013.4.4
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 46.8 cm, Diam (max): 41.3 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
1899
Web Description: 
“This Dragonfly lamp is an idea that I had last summer and which Alice [Gouvy] worked out on a plaster mould. . . After she had made the drawing on this plaster mould I took it in hand and we worked and worked on it till the cost built up at such a rate that they had to mark it $250.00 when it was finished and everybody, even Mr. Belknap, thought it was impractical on account of the cost, but. . . then Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Belknap said—It is very original and makes talk, so perhaps it is not a bad investment. Then Mr. Tiffany got wind and came down and said it was the most interesting lamp in the place and then a rich woman bought it and then Mr. Tiffany said she couldn’t have it, he wanted it to go to London and have another one made for her and one to go to Paris.” –Clara Driscoll, head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department at Tiffany Studios (April 6, 1899) Under Louis C. Tiffany’s leadership, hundreds of artists and artisans turned his expansive vision into an assortment of decorative objects and complete interior designs. Clara Driscoll worked on and off for Tiffany from 1888 to about 1909. She created mosaic lamp bases, small boxes, inkstands, clocks, and some of Tiffany’s most famous leaded glass lampshade designs. This Dragonfly lamp is likely the one Tiffany sent to London. It was purchased by a collector and remained in England until 1970, when the New York antiques dealer and Tiffany expert Lillian Nassau (American, 1899–1995) bought it at auction. In 1971, Nassau sold the lamp to an American collector, whose heirs later sold it back to Nassau’s gallery. It was purchased by the Museum in 2013. Over the years, bases and shades from Tiffany lamps often become separated and may be rejoined with parts from different lamps. This lamp is a significant example of an original shade and base that remained together throughout its history.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Grafton Galleries, Former Collection
1899
to
1899
Nassau, Lillian, Former Collection
1970
to
1971
Lillian Nassau LLC, Source
2011
to
2013-02-06
Color: 
Inscription: 
S/C / 9108
inscription
Scratched (b) on base of font
LEVITON / MADE IN U.S.A. / 60W-250V
stamp
Stamped (c) on two bulb sockets
LEVITON / PATENTED / 60W-250V
stamp
Stamped (c) on one bulb socket
PRESS
stamp
Stamped (c) on all bulb sockets
EAGLE / MADE IN U.S.A. / PAT.NOS. / 2.675.531 / D185.991 / UL
stamp
Stamped (c) on both sides of outlet plug
PAT. NO. 2723327
stamp
Stamped (c) on switch
3A.250V.
stamp
Stamped (c) on switch
UND.LAB.INC.-LIST-SA / 3A.125VT.
stamp
Stamped (c) on switch
6A.125V
stamp
Stamped (c) on switch
S1083
stamp
Stamped (b) on base of font
GILBERT / NEW YORK CITY / MADE IN U.S.A.
stamp
Stamped (c) on switch
Primary Description: 
Reading Lamp, "Dragonflies and Water Flowers". Green blown glass, acid-washed; sheet glass, cut and assembled with lead came; cast bronze fittings. Oil lamp with leaded glass shade ornamented with seven large dragonflies and numerous water flowers. Blown and acid-etched globe-shaped green glass base, and bronze foot cast with leaves of water flowers. Bronze fuel fittings, including a small oil font. Each section of the shade has a slightly different pattern. The globe has an acid-washed surface, and the apron of the bronze foot and the irregular edge of the glass rim conform closely. Lamp has been outfitted with modern electrical fittings, including three light bulb sockets. Inscribed S/C /9108 and stamped S1083 on base of oil font. Recorded as model no. 67, available in oil or electric. The shade alone was available for sale as model no. 1467.
Exhibition of L’Art Nouveau
Venue(s)
Grafton Galleries
Siegfried Bing, Paris, Grafton Galleries, London
Contemporary Glass Vessels: Selections from the Corning Museum of Glass (2015) illustrated, p. 20 (fig. 24); BIB# 149403
Corning Museum of Glass Calendar (2014) illustrated, cover; BIB# AI95971
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2013 (2014) illustrated, cover; pp. 44-45 (#29);
Notes: Corning Museum Adds Major Work to Glass, Library Collections (2014) illustrated, p. 384, #22; BIB# AI100158
Recent Acquisitions: Cream Jug with 1794 United States Penny in Knop (2013) illustrated, p. 14, right; BIB# AI94032
Recent Acquisitions: Reading Lamp with Dragonflies and Water Flowers (2013) illustrated, p. 14, right; BIB# AI94034
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 39; BIB# 134856
A Tiffany Lamp (1900-03) illustrated, p. 226;
Exhibition of l’Art Nouveau (1899) p. 22, #7; BIB# 30567