This rare early Tiffany Lamp features an exceptional example of Tiffany Studios’ leaded glass Pansy Shade with particularly fine glass selection evident in the flowers.
The Pansy shade is likely one of Clara Driscoll’s designs. The background of the dome-shaped leaded glass shade of this example is formed by gridded Tiffany Glass in a warm amber orange color which is more deeply saturated near the lower edge, shifting to a creamier tone near the shade’s crown. A meandering band of pansies, including clusters of flowers and individual blooms, serves as a decorative horizontal border near the lower margin of the shade; unlike many of Tiffany Studios leaded glass shades with floral “borders,” the flowers in this version of the Pansy shade float directly above the gridded glass, and the floral motif does not feature any border rows or framing devices separating it from the background glass.
The flowers in this shade are highly realistic representations of pansies. Each flower is articulated in a different combination of colors, textures and types of Tiffany Glass, ranging from dramatic streaky deep purple glass to translucent rippled opalescent white and mottled blue. The flowers are surrounded by foliage in variegated shades of green. This shade is a showcase of the skill of the Tiffany Girls who selected the glass for the floral portion of the shade.
The shade is paired with a Pepper Base in rich brown patina. The Pepper Base was an early Tiffany Lamp Base design introduced by Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company at the turn of the 20th century when it was first used for oil or kerosene lamps; the larger body would have accommodated the fuel canister necessary to power the lamp. This example has been converted for electricity.
A related example of this shade was part of the collection of Dr. Egon Neustadt; this shade is now part of the permanent collection of the New-York Historical Society ( ) where it is on permanent display in the museum’s acclaimed Gallery of Tiffany Lamps.
Diameter: 16 inches (40.6 cm)
Height: 18 inches (45.7 cm)
Martin Eidelberg, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Nancy McClelland, Lars Rachen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios (New York, 2005), pp. 147 and 205 (for the base)
Margaret K. Hofer and Rebecca Klassen, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios: Nature Illuminated (Skira Rizzoli Publications, Inc, 2016), p. 100 (for the shade)
Dr. Egon Neustadt, The Lamps of Tiffany(New York, 1970), p. 63, pl. 87 (for the base)