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It’s no secret that online marketplaces for luxury design are having a moment. From 1stDibs’s expansion into the auction space to Chairish’s acquisition of Pamono (to name just a few developments), there’s arguably never been a better time to turn to the internet for that showstopper piece you’ve been hunting for. And now, it seems that’s especially true if it’s an ultrarare Tiffany Studios antique lamp you’re after. Two of them are now available through The RealReal. Notably, the price of one—$350,000—ties the luxury consignment site’s record for the most expensive item they have ever sold.
The RealReal’s trust and estates team sourced the two lamps, both believed to be more than 110 years old. The models marvelously showcase Tiffany Studios’ mastery of glass, as well as the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic Movement sensibilities of the design firm’s namesake, Louis Comfort Tiffany. In addition to being designs that epitomize their particular moment in the history of American art and design, the lamps showcase then revolutionary glasswork techniques as well as high attention to detail.
“Each lamp is an intricate network of hundreds of tiny glass pieces, every one meticulously cut from a sheet chosen for its texture and combination of colors,” says Peter Hall, The RealReal’s home and art expert. “As light passes through the shade, each flower springs to brilliant life and transforms the lamp into a work of art.”
Selling at a list price of $350,000, the circa 1910 Antique Elaborate Peony table lamp is a wonder of geometric complexity that Hall describes as “one of the most coveted in the Tiffany Studios catalog,” weaving together sky, earth, and the reddish white blooms of the plant that Louis Comfort Tiffany referred to as “the king of the flowers.”
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Listed at a comparatively “affordable” $125,000, the Antique Elaborate Tulip Lamp depicts a beautiful field of tulips in bloom. Possibly designed by Clara Driscoll, who headed Tiffany Studios’ women’s glass-cutting department, the lamp’s varied textured glass pieces are bathed in greens, gold, and pastels, all perched above a patinated bronze base.
The Antique Elaborate Peony lamp’s price, which equals that of an unbranded yellow diamond engagement ring sold on The RealReal in 2021, fits within a larger upward trend in the price of vintage items sold online. According to the online marketplace, the average sale price for what it considers blue-chip art increased by 43%. So, while many of us might focus on midcentury-modern pieces or the perfect sofa, these ultrarare Tiffany Studios finds speak to the ever blurring line between what winds up at an auction house versus an e-commerce platform.
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