An American Art Nouveau patinated bronze and favrile glass mounted table candelabrum by Tiffany Studios New York. The candelabrum has six arms. Each candle holder is decorated with green favrile jewels. A similar candelabrum is pictured in: Alastair Duncan, "Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models", Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club Ltd., 2007, p. 385, plate 1571.
A French Art Nouveau gilt bronze boudoir lamp by Edouard Colonna. The gilt bronze base has a foliate motif. The fringed pale gold silk shade is topped by a twisted vine finial that spreads in an arch over the lamp. A similar lamp is pictured in: "Art Nouveau: The French Aesthetic," by Victor Arwas, London: Andreas Papadakis, 2002, p. 281.
A Tiffany Studios New York patinated bronze "Lily Pad" dressing mirror with a lily pad base and twisted vine frame. Pictured in "Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: an illustrated reference to over 2000 models" by Alastair Duncan, page 402, plate 1633, #899.
A Tiffany Studios New York "Scarab" mosaic and gilt bronze covered box. This round box is decorated with vivid mosaics of red, yellow, orange, green, turquoise blue and black. The cover has three applied favrile glass scarab beetles. The scarabs confirm Tiffany''s fascination for Egyptian archeological discoveries and are a fine expression of his inspiration. Louis Comfort Tiffany first traveled to Egypt in 1872, two years after the opening of the Suez Canal and near the height of the ensuing American "Eyptomania." Tiffany was immediately taken with the ancient cultural legacies and starkly exotic landscape of 19th Century Egypt, and upon his return to New York he devoted himself to the rendering of several large scale oil paintings depicting the landscape, ancient wonders and then modern architecture of Cairo and the surrounding area. From that point onward the aesthetic language of ancient Egypt was never far from Tiffany''s mind, and it would appear in various motif forms in various works for the rest of his artistic career. Those works that demonstrate Tiffany''s great passion and careful study of ancient Egypt are now considered among the rarest and most collectible of his oeuvre. After a second Nile River Cruise in 1908 Tiffany resolved to celebrate his long enchantment with all things Egyptian with a Fete that would be written about for decades to come. Invitatio
ns to the strictly Egyptian-themed evening were on aged parchment in both hieroglyphs and English, and hand delivered to each of the bash''s 400 guests. Each of the attendees had to submit their costumes to astrict guidelines of authenticity overseen by a committee comprised of Egyptologists and authorities on costume art. Egyptian-inspired music, composed by Theodore Steinway, was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra as Pedro de Cordoba, playing Marc Antony, brought gifts of Favrile glass to a posing Cleopatra. Tiffany''s sons-in-law were dressed as Roman lictors, while his daughters were adorned with rare scarab objects from Tiffany''s personal collection, fashioned as jewelry. Robert De Forest, the famed president of the Metropolitan Museum of American Art, arrived as the one of the Maharajas of Punjab; John D. Rockefeller attended dressed as a pharaoh and Egyptian beauty queens wearing gigantic scarab wings served them North African fare. Tiffany spared no detail and no expense to recreate the opulence of ancient Egyptian courts, and created many decorative arts especially for the occasion. Tiffany was particularly interested in the importance of the scarab beetle in Egyptian mythology, and sparingly employed decorative depictions of the insect in his works, most probably due to his understanding of the supreme and sacred nature of the motif. However, those works that did include scarabs executed in the ancient Egyptian style are considered of special personal importance to Tiffany, and are especially important to find in Tiffany collections. The Egyptian name for the beetle is derived from the verb "to be created" or "to come into the world." The Egyptians considered the beetle to be the incarnation of the creator god, who had regenerated himself cyclically. The beetle was thus understood as a potent symbol of rebirth, and was tied to understandings of the daily rising sun. A similar mosaic box is pictured in: Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1988 p. 433, plate 1716; and in: Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 2004, p. 370.
A French Art Nouveau "Pivoines" table lamp by Émile Gallé. The lamp features a vibrant detailed decoration of crimson red peonies wrapped around the base and shade, surrounded by foliage of plum-colored leaves. The patinated bronze mounts replicate the foliage theme and have scarab beetle terminals. A similar lamp is pictured in A. Duncan, G. de Bartha, "Gallé Le Verre," London, 1984, p. 153, pl. 214.
A French Art Nouveau silvered bronze sculpture by Leo Laporte-Blairsy featuring a glass globe by Daum Nancy. The globe is in translucent blue glass decorated with white five-pointed stars. "La Voie Lactée" (The Milky Way) was first exhibited at the Société des Artistes Français in 1904 for which Laporte-Blairsy was a awarded the high honor of a first class medal.In this daring work by controversial Art Nouveau sculptor Laporte-Blairsy, the spirit of creation is depicted as a regal, elegant beauty. Resolving herself out of a swirl of cosmic dust scattered with stars, she gently suspends the expanding galaxy (of Daum glass) with an expression of intelligence and pride of creation. The sculptor''s early embrace of electricity is integral to the design: the figure is lit from within by this new form of illumination which, at the time, represented the revolutionary soul of invention. Laporte-Blairsy is also famous for a statuaryfountain, situated in the central square of Toulouse, of the graceful and mysterious Clémence Isaure, a legendary Renaissance noblewoman who was the benefactor of and inspiration for the first poetry festival in Europe.The young woman holding the glass globe wears a collar in the shape of a five-pointed star. The collar is decorated along its border with more five-pointed stars. The woman also wears a five-pointed star in her hair, and the lower portion of
her flowing dress and her cape are covered with more five-pointed stars, including some that pierce the metal. Her billowing sleeves help to frame the globe. She wears bows on each shoulder.Laporte-Blairsy was an incredibly divisive artist in his time. To the critics of the avante-garde literary magazine, "La Nouvelle Revue," the lighting of Laporte-Blairsy was a revelation. The magazine lauded Laporte-Blairsy as being "infinitely ingenious.... the Scheherazade of electric lamps.... bringing about a second enlightenment." By comparison, the lighting of Leo Laporte-Blairsy offended the immutable sensibilities of the Parisian old-guard. Maurice Hamel remarked in the 1904 "Revue des Arts Décoratifs" that Laporte-Blairsy broke the artichtectonic laws of decoration, labeling the artist a rulebreaker, or "hors-la-loi". In comparison to the inoffensive figuration of the French Renaissance, the rhythmic drapery of Laporte-Blairsy was tormented. Part of Laporte-Blairsy''s technical innovation was bringing out the unique characteristics of incandescent lighting. While gas powered lighting required vents and open structure, Laporte-Blairsy used the globe and balloon motif to trap and emit bewitching glows. The end of the 19th century marked the centenary of the invention of the hot air balloon. The recent flight of the Wright Brothers, coupled with numerous high profile hot air balloon flights, made balloonmania rise to an all time high. A similar sculpture is featured in "Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lighting," New York, 1978, by Alastair Duncan, p. 111, fig. 52. Also in "The Paris Salons 1895-1914, Vol. V: Objets D''Art & Metalware," Woodbridge, 1999, p. 367 (design illustrated). And in Victor Arwas, "Art Nouveau: The French Aesthetic," London, Andreas Papadakis, 2002, modèle reproduit p. 270.
A polychrome bronze Art Nouveau figural candelabrum by Gustav Gurschner. A young woman with brown hair, dressed in a long flowing green skirt, with her breasts exposed, holds a seed capsule in each arm, into which a candle can be inserted. Gurschner displayed his work through the Viennese Secession Group gaining him much acclaim. His depiction of bare breasted women largely survives any stricture in that they have a quiet dignity and poetic charm that never stoops to vulgarization. The woman holds in each arm a lotus flower seed capsule. The size of the capsules relative to her body makes her seem a flower fairy or spirit. A candle would be placed on each capsule, illuminating the dinner table with spectacular charm. In the lead up to World War I, Germany was swept by a wave of artistic nationalism. After spending most of the 19th century dominated by French influence, German artists desired a return to tradition. Integral to German tradition was the vibrant color of Late Medieval wooden sculpture. Since the 14th century, much of antique polychromy had deteriorated considerably, leaving large portions of the wood base exposed. The rich burnt sienna of this woman''s skin may refer to this exposed wood finish. Alternatively it might refer to the skin color of the dancers from the Java Pavillion (1889). After their blockbuster appearance in the World''s Fair, depictions of the d
ancers abounded in salons. Brown-skinned and black-haired women became appreciated in this context as harbingers of exotic delights. A similar candlestick is pictured in: "The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. V: Objects d''Art and Metalware," by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1999, p. 305ProvenanceRudi Schmutz, ViennaAcquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1980sLiteratureAlastair Duncan, Art Nouveau Sculpture, New York, 1978, p. 49 Wolf Uecker, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lamps and Candlesticks, New York, 1986, p. 15Yvonne Brunhammer and Suzanne Tise, French Decorative Art, the Société des Artistes Décorateurs 1900-1942, Paris, 1990, p. 8 (for the model depicted in the Manuel Orazi poster)
A Tiffany Studios New York glass and bronze eighteen light "Lily" table lamp, featuring 18 golden iridescent Favrile glass "Lily" shades on individual bronze stems extending upwards from an intricately sculpted and detailed gilt bronze "Lily Pad" base. This exquisite eighteen light lily lamp marks the combination of two of Tiffany''s favorite floral motifs, the pond lily, and the morning glory. Ths shades take the form of morning glories. Inspired by Japanese woodblock prints, Tiffany made many water-color paintings of morning glories, entranced by their polychromatic brilliance and trumpet-like shape.The morning glory or asagao was beloved by the Japanese as the commoner''s flower. Day laborers, artisans and many other persons who could not indulge in the aristocratic pleasure of raising dwarf trees or chrysanthemums, eagerly became asagao cultivators. The asagao blooms at dawn before the sun rises, and consequently, asagao lovers have to rise early in order to appreciate the blossoms. Like the morning glory rises to the sun, so does this lamp come alive with the addition of light.The gilt bronze "pond lily" base is modeled after the lilies at Laurelton Hall, Tiffany''s Long Island garden estate. Tiffany cultivated the Latour-Marliac Lily, the world''s first colored water-lilies. It was these very same lilies that inspired the likes of Monet in his famous water-lily seri
es.A similar lamp is pictured in: "Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models," by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1988, p. 80, plate 313.ProvenanceMinna Rosenblatt, Ltd., New York
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