Hanging Head Dragonfly Shade on Mosaic and Turtleback Base

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Design attributed to Clara Pierce Wolcott Driscoll
American, 1861-1944
Made by Tiffany Studios
American, 1902-1932
Corona, New York

Hanging Head Dragonfly Shade on Mosaic and Turtleback Base, By 1906

Favrile glass and bronze
H. 86.4 cm (34 in.); diam: 57.2 cm (22 1/2 in.)
Shade model 1507 stamped: TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 1507
Base model 355 impressed: TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK 5858
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

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.

— Entry, Essential Guide, 2013, p. 49.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, "Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago," November 7, 2009-January 31, 2010, cat. 155.

Publication History

Annual Report (Art Institute of Chicago, 2005-2006), p. 22 (ill. p. 18).

Ellen E. Roberts, "Hanging Head Dragonfly Shade on Mosaic and Turtleback Base," Notable Acquisitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 34, 1 (2008), pp. 16-17.

Ownership History

Mrs. Sandra van den Broek
Mr. Jeffrey C. Thier