One of two known examples, this model is the largest shade produced by Tiffany Studios.
A 'POPPY' LEADED GLASS AND GILT-BRONZE FLOOR LAMP
The 'Poppy' shade as displayed on another base in the Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibit in 1990 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
The present lamp has an illustrious provenance. In the years between the first and second World Wars, it was acquired by Vito D'Agostino, a teacher of Italian origin. A man of great education but not great wealth, D'Agostino first became acquainted with the work of the Tiffany Studios as he walked to school in New York City--saving money he would have spent on a subway fare, while relishing the sights of the city. D'Agostino rescued many a Tiffany treasure from the trash heap when the work of the Studios had fallen from fashion, and he was prescient enough to buy well when Tiffany Studios was liquidated in 1927. We are enormously grateful today that he scavenged and preserved original Tiffany Studios photographic records, designs and scrapbooks that had been thrown out onto the street when the firm was dissolved.
In 1933, he was fortunate to gain an invitation to Laurelton Hall, Louis Comfort Tiffany's home on Long Island. Although Tiffany died in 1933, his beautiful residence and gardens were still intact at that time, adorned throughout with Tiffany's most spectacular and most prized creations--windows, glass and mosaics. This experience only heightened D'Agostino's admiration for Tiffany and his resolve to seek out the best and most unusual Tiffany Studios pieces.
A short list of the outstanding pieces that Vito D'Agostino was able to find over the years includes the famous Jennings Four Seasons window, the Gould landscape window, now in the Tiffany Garden Museum in Matsue, Japan, and the 'Squash' lamp at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. In 1998, Christie's offered a magnificent 'Magnolia' floor lamp also from the collection of Vito D'Agostino, which eclipsed all previous records for the model.
The rare 'Poppy' shade offered here is exceptional in its coloration and composition. It epitomizes the very best work of the Tiffany Studios, and proof of its greatness is the fact that Vito D'Agostino chose to keep it in his company.
PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK COLLECTOR
END OF SALE
Washington, D.C., The Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany, September 29, 1989-March 4, 1990. This exhibit traveled to New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 12-September 9, 1990. The shade was exhibited on a different base.
Roslyn Harbor, New York, Nassau County Museum of Art, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Stanford White and Their Circle, September 24, 1998-January 4, 1999.
55¼in. (140.3cm.) high, 30½ in. (77.4cm.) diameter of the shade, with finial
William Feldstein, Jr. and Alastair Duncan, The Lamps of Tiffany Studios, 1983, p. 115 for an illustration of this lamp.
Nassau County Museum of Art, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Stanford White and Their Circle (exh. cat.), 1998, p. 29 for an illustration of this lamp.
Vito d'Agostino, Brooklyn, New York