Tiffany Studios set the tone for luxury at Morphy’s $1.9M auction

Tiffany Studios ‘Venetian’ leaded-glass table lamp with gilt bronze base, circa 1910, 21in tall with signed 14in diameter shade. Top lot of the sale: $104,550 against an estimate of $50,000-$80,000. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – The luxuriant colors and incomparable artistry of Tiffany Studios dominated Morphy’s $1.9 million Fine & Decorative Arts Auction held Dec. 12 at the company’s busy Pennsylvania gallery. Exquisite examples of Tiffany table, floor and hanging lamps – many of them quite rare – were among the stars of the 767-lot sale. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

An opulent masterpiece from a long-held collection, a circa-1910 Tiffany “Venetian” lamp with an intricately patterned leaded-glass shade and “jewel”-studded gilt-bronze base (above) soared to the top of prices realized, earning $104,550 against a presale estimate of $50,000-$80,000. A floral beauty from the virtuosos at Tiffany, a vibrant “Peony” table lamp with signed shade and base (below) swept past expectations to settle at $70,110.

Tiffany Studios ‘Peony’ table lamp, signed shade and base. Sold for $70,110 against an estimate of $45,000-$60,000. Morphy Auctions image

A Tiffany bronze, leaded and stained-glass chandelier (below) in the “October Night” pattern, with a botanical theme of red berries interspersed within an overall network of branches and leaves, had remained in the same Texas family’s possession for nearly 40 years. It was purchased by them in 1980 from Lillian Nassau (New York), the world’s foremost authority on Tiffany lamps. The chandelier changed hands at Morphy’s for $66,000.

Tiffany Studios ‘October Night’ chandelier, 26in diameter shade signed ‘TIFFANY STUDIOS NEW YORK.’ Sold for $66,000. Morphy Auctions image

Intense bidder interest drove the price of a Loetz Austrian Art Nouveau table lamp to more than six times its high estimate. A stunning design that featured four glass globes of organic form supported by an unusual vertical-form base, the lamp had been entered in the sale with expectations of reaching $2,400-$3,000, but its appealing colors and novel artistry took it to greater heights and a final selling price of $19,200.

Loetz Art Nouveau four-light table lamp with patinated bronze base. Sold for $19,200 against an estimate of $2,400-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image

With its captivating glass-eyed gaze and broad smile, a 13½-inch Galle yellow faience cat with a blue-and-white hearts-and-dots pattern charmed ceramics fanciers on both sides of the Atlantic. The confident feline attracted 59 bids before landing at $20,400, more than 22 times the high estimate.

Galle 13½-inch faience cat with blue-and-white pattern on yellow glazed body. Applied glass eyes. Signed ‘E GALLE NANCY.’ Sold for $20,400, more than 22 times high estimate. Morphy Auctions image

An untitled abstract oil-on-canvas by Seund Ja Rhee (Korean/French, 1918-2009) topped the fine art section of the sale. Artist-signed, dated ’61, and measuring 22 by 28 inches (sight), the lively artwork was executed in a sunny palette of orange, red and yellow tones, with sky-blue accents. It sold well above its high estimate, for $43,050.

Seund Ja Rhee (Korean/French, 1918-2009), untitled decorative abstract oil-on-canvas, 22 x 28in (sight). Sold above high estimate for $43,050. Morphy Auctions image

A blue-chip selection of wristwatches and jewelry found favor with bidders – both watch collectors and shoppers on the lookout for premium-quality holiday gifts. Rolex was the brand that ruled the day. A men’s Rolex 116610 “Hulk” Oyster Perpetual Date Submariner wristwatch with its original Rolex card, sold above estimate for $22,140; while a vintage Rolex GMT-Master “Pepsi” Ref. 1675 wristwatch – so named because the red and blue shades on its bezel are similar to those on Pepsi-Cola’s logo – commanded $18,750, more than twice the high estimate.

Men’s Rolex 116610 ‘Hulk’ Oyster Perpetual Date Submariner wristwatch with original Rolex card. Sold above estimate for $22,140. Morphy Auctions image

A sparkling 15.5-carat platinum tennis bracelet with 45 emerald-cut diamonds weighed in at an impressive 36.2 grams. The total diamond weight was 15.50 carats, and its average grading of the stones indicated VS2/S11 clarity and G/H color. Timelessly elegant, the bracelet sold at the midpoint of its estimate range for $25,830.

Women’s platinum 15.5-carat tennis bracelet with 45 emerald-cut diamonds. Gross weight: 36.2 grams. Sold at midpoint of estimate range for $25,830. Morphy Auctions image

To discuss consigning to a future Fine & Decorative Arts auction at Morphy’s, call 877-968-8880 or email