Copper in the Arts

October 2012

Masterworks by Tiffany Studios from the Geyer Family Collection to be Offered at Sotheby's

Dragonfly and Waterflowers table lamp "Dragonfly and Waterflowers" Table Lamp, Circa 1910. Est. $300/500,000.

Photograph courtesy of Sotheby's

Sotheby's Auction house recently announced that it will offer Masterworks by Tiffany Studios from the Geyer Family Collection over the course of three sales in fall 2012, spring 2013 and summer 2013. Their first sale, held on Dec. 15., will feature more than 60 lots by Tiffany Studios, all collected and amassed by the Geyer Family, who are renowned for their discerning eye and a connoisseur's approach to collecting. A highlight of the sale is the "Magnolia" Vase (est. $60/80,000), circa 1910, a very rare example of enameled copper from Tiffany Studios. Also up for auction is an extraordinary variety of Tiffany's famed fancy goods, such as ink wells, candelabra, and desk sets.

Other highlights include a rare "Peony" Table Lamp (est. $800/1.2 million) circa 1910. The shade was formerly in the Collection of The Charles R. Wood Foundation in Glen Falls, New York and is now presented with the striking Mosaic Turtleback base from the historic Tavern Club in Cleveland. Selections from the December sale will be on view in Hong Kong during the fall, and further details on the 2013 sales will be forthcoming.

"The Geyers are the most fervent collectors of Tiffany I have ever met," notes James Zemaitis, Senior Vice President of 20th Century Design. "They have spent thousands of hours scouring the most obscure corners of the American landscape looking for museum quality works, whether it's a chandelier that was hanging in its original interior for 100 years and was sold at a small Midwestern estate sale, or the rarest of desk set accessories in the 'Grapevine' pattern which they found buried in the backroom inventory of one of the founding ladies of the Tiffany gallery market in the 1970s. It is a great honor to be selling choice examples from their collection in December and in 2013."

Over a span of 40 years, Burton and Paula Geyer have assembled one of the finest private collections of works by Tiffany Studios, with a special emphasis on museum-quality lamps and fancy goods. Starting in Brooklyn as schoolteachers, Mr. and Mrs. Geyer were enthusiastic collectors of Tiffany Studios works early on, often buying pieces on installment plans from top galleries. They learned from many of the pioneers of the Tiffany market, including Lillian Nassau, Gladys Koch, Beatrice Weiss and Simon Lieberman. Over the years, the Geyers slowly began assembling their impressive collection by combing auction houses, antique stores and galleries for the best of the best.

"After 40 years of passionately collecting works by Tiffany Studios, our journey has not yet ended, and we continue to curate and refine our collection. However, we have simply run out of room, and we are reluctantly parting with aspects of our collection so that the next generation of enthusiasts can enjoy these rare and beautiful works, rather than keeping them stored away in boxes," says Mr. Burton Geyer. A rare "Dragonfly and Waterflowers" Table Lamp with a mosaic favrile glass "Arrowroot" base (est. $300/500,000), circa 1910, will also be offered in the sale. The Dragonfly is arguably one of the most iconic design themes associated with Tiffany, and as a unit, the shade and base pairing is a spectacular and rare creation. The sale also features a "Geranium" Table Lamp (est. $100/150,000) and a "Daffodil" Table Lamp (est. $80/120,000), both purchased from important Sotheby's auctions over the past two decades, in addition to other table lamps, floor lamps, and chandeliers.

Resources:

Sotheby's, 1334 York Ave., New York, NY, (212) 606-7000

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