Tiffany Studios, Virginia Creeper

Sotheby's John Mecom sale of 1995.

"A highly important Tiffany Favrile Glass, Amethyst Glass Bead and bronze Virginia Creeper Lamp, Circa 1900, the sharply conical shade cast at the crown with a network of entangled branches, above pendant heart shaped leafage molded to simulate veining in opalescent glass streaked with rose, pink, lemon yellow and crimson, the lower pierced branches set with randomly placed amethyst glass 'berries', the interior of the shade set under the pierced crown with panels of conformingly colored glass; raised on a cylindrical standard cast with berried leafage, the domed circular base subtly cast with a network of roots, further raised on five flattened ball feet, shade unsigned, base impressed Tiffany Studios/New York/378. Restorations. Height 18 1/4" diameter 17".

"The Virginia Creeper, formerly erroneously called the maple leaf lamp, is perhaps the most important and unusual of Tiffany's oeuvre. This shade is the only shade which incorporates glass tiles in the form of the leaf represented in the pattern. The tiles have been molded in high and low relief and have been painstakingly maneuvered during the manufacture so that the subtle shading about the veining can be seen when the lamp is illuminated. A technical tour de force, this lamp was most likely a special commission and not reproduced because of the difficulty in the production of the leafage."

©1995, Sotheby's New York, all rights reserved.