This “Wisteria Table Lamp” is a Tiffany Lamp designed by Clara Driscoll. For the Tiffany design studio designers, the colour was more important than accurate form. In many of the flower designed Tiffany Lamps, the form came secondary to the colour esthetic and in many examples, texture and tone take precedence over botanical accuracy.
Wisteria proliferated Tiffany’s leaded glass windows, and the Wisteria lamp design was one of Tiffany’s most popular models. Composed of nearly, 2,000 tiny pieces of glass, it was priced at $400 in 1906, the equivalent price adjusted for inflation, in today’s prices, would be over $10,000. An original, made in the 1890s to 1930s by Tiffany Studios can be worth anywhere from $10,000 up to over $1 million. The most ever paid for an original was nearly 3 million dollars.
A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with a glass shade made of glass designed by Tiffany & Co and its design teams. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement. Due to Tiffany’s dominant influence on the style, the term ‘Tiffany Lamp’ or ‘Tiffany style lamp’ has often been used to refer to stained leaded glass lamps even those not made by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s company.
The glass selection create different interpretations of the same design
Louis Comfort Tiffany was a designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau. Tiffany designed stained glass windows and lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewellery, enamels, and metalwork. He was the first Design Director at his family company, Tiffany & Co., founded by his father.
Clara Driscoll was head of the Tiffany Studios Women’s Glass Cutting Department, known as the “Tiffany Girls” in New York City. Using patterns created from the original designs, these women selected and cut the glass that was used to make these beautiful lamps. Clara Driscoll designed more than thirty Tiffany lamps produced by Tiffany Studios, yet virtually nothing was known about Driscoll until quite recently. It is now believed that Clara Driscoll and the “Tiffany Girls” created many of the Tiffany lamps initially attributed to Louis Comfort Tiffany and his male designers.
Other Tiffany Lamp’s featured in “Joy of Museums” include:
- Trumpet Creeper Shade with Mosaic and Turtleback Tile Base
- Dogwood Shade with Chased Pod Floor Base
- Wisteria Table Lamp
- Magnolia Shade – Tiffany Lamp
- Gourd Shade – Tiffany Lamp
- Nasturtium Shade with Mosaic Turtleback Tile Base – Tiffany Lamp
- Title: “Wisteria Table Lamp” – Tiffany Lamp
- Designer: Carla Driscoll
- Year: 1901
- Museum: New-York Historical Society
Designer Essential Facts:
- Name: Clara Driscoll
- Born: 1861 – Tallmadge, Ohio
- Died: 1944 (aged 83) – New York City, New York, US
Master Designer Essential Facts:
- Name: Louis Comfort Tiffany
- Born: 1848 – New York City, New York, US
- Died: 1933 (aged 84) – New York City, New York, US
- Movements: Art Nouveau and Aesthetic
“Color is to the eye what music is to the ear.”
―Louis Comfort Tiffany
Photo Credit: By Joyofmuseums (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons