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Hanging Head Dragonfly Shade on Mosaic and Turtleback Base

Design attributed to Clara Pierce Wolcott Driscoll (American, 1861-1944); made by Tiffany Studios (1902–1932), Corona, New YorkBy 1906

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, United States

In the 1890s, Louis Comfort Tiffany began using his opalescent favrile glass to produce lamps, the decorative form for which he would become most famous. As the artistic director of Tiffany Studios, he approved all patterns but created relatively few lamps himself. Clara Driscoll, head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department, was likely responsible for this shade and base. Driscoll began working for Tiffany in 1888, and she designed the majority of the firm’s lamps before she left the company in 1908 or 1909. Driscoll created at least eight dragonfly shades. Among these, this example is distinguished by its large size, glass cabochons, and the placement of insects’ bodies along the lower edge. While Tiffany Studios mass-produced these shades and bases, the firm varied the color scheme of each object to heighten the sense of handcraftsmanship. This daring design became one of Tiffany’s most popular and was made through 1924.

Details

  • Title: Hanging Head Dragonfly Shade on Mosaic and Turtleback Base
  • Creator: Design attributed to Clara Pierce Wolcott Driscoll (American, 1861-1944); made by Tiffany Studios (1902–1932), Corona, New York
  • Date Created: By 1906
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 86.4 cm (34 in.); diameter: 57.2 cm (22 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Decorative Arts
  • External Link: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Media: Favrile glass and bronze
  • Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, Roger and J. Peter McCormick Endowments, Robert Allerton Purchase Fund, Goodman Endowment for the Collection of the Friends of American Art, Pauline S. Armstrong Endowment, Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson; restricted gift of the Antiquarian Society in memory of Helen Richman Gilbert and Lena Turnbull Gilbert, Sandra van den Broek, Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Buchbinder, Quinn E. Delaney, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley M. Dixon, Jamee J. and Marshall Field, Celia and David Hilliard, Elizabeth Souder Louis, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance, and Mr. and Mrs. Morris S. Weeden, 2006.2
  • Artist: Design attributed to Clara Pierce Wolcott Driscoll (American, 1861-1944); made by Tiffany Studios (1902–1932), Corona, New York

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