This extremely rare watercolor and graphite study is by Agnes F. Northrop, one of the talented women designers known as the “Tiffany Girls” upon whom Louis Comfort Tiffany came to rely most heavily.
Northrop worked for Tiffany for over five decades straight, starting out in the 1880s at his earliest firms and continuing to design leaded glass windows for Tiffany Studios long after Tiffany himself retired; she stayed on until company closed in the early 1930s following Tiffany’s death. Northrop was one of the only artists granted a private studio in the company’s bustling Manhattan workrooms. Known for her finely detailed compositions and her faithfully accurate botanical and natural depictions, she contributed to some of the most famous Tiffany Windows known today.
This sketch includes several studies of aquatic life forms, including a series of small graphite sketches of a starfish, coral and scallop shell along the right side. The main area of the page features a watercolor study of a “Lady Crab,” with a notation in pencil along the lower left margin in Northrop’s delicate hand noting the crustacean’s scientific name and giving a brief description. The sketch is signed on the lower right.