Rago Auctions breaks the world record price for a Tiffany Studios lamp, May 13, 2021

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Tiffany Studios Dandelion lamp, Rago lot #273

As the expert for Rago Auctions, I was sent photos of a very rare and unusual Tiffany Studios lamp for evaluation. I receive lots of photos from auction galleries for evaluation, but nothing like this. I was really wowed. It was so rare I wasn’t familiar with the model, but there it was illustrated in more than one book. It was originally exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 and the following year at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. I suggested to Mike Fredericks, head of the lamp and glass division, that I thought it was worth $400,000 – $600,000, but that I thought the estimate should be much lower, perhaps $100,000 – $200,000, as low estimates are like catnip to cats.

Lamp detail

The lamp was consigned by the family of a diplomat from the Truman Administration who had acquired it in the 1940s. Tiffany Studios lamps were totally out of fashion at the time, so my guess is it didn’t cost much. The family was willing to accept advice from Mike, who told them that a low estimate would be very helpful. They agreed to an estimate of $50,000 – $75,000, which meant that the reserve could not exceed $50,000. So technically the lamp could have sold for $50,000 if only one person were willing to pay the price.

Two of the star cracks in the shade

Examination of the lines in the shade proved that it was actually the same lamp as in the photos in the books. The condition of the lamp was exceptional, as the lamp had been in storage for decades. There were a few problem with the shade including three small star cracks and one chip on the fitter rim. For an ordinary lamp, that probably would have seriously impacted the price, but not for an extraordinary lamp.

I messaged David Rago that I predicted a selling price in the range of $350,000+, but that I wished it would sell for $1,000,000, not really believing it, as only a dozen Tiffany lamps have ever sold for $1,000,000+ at auction. David said he was sure it would exceed $200,000. Eleven bidders were on the telephone, which included representatives from four museums. Many bidders held their cards close to their vests and were scattered among the live audience and on several live bidding platforms.

The bidding started below $100,000. I bid up to $170,000 for a client. I told him in advance that we had very little chance of being the successful bidders. As the bidding progressed higher, bidders dropped out left and right. It came down to two determined bidders on the telephones. They pushed the final price to $3,745,000, including buyer’s premium — a world record price for a Tiffany lamp at auction. The previous record was $3,372,500, set at Christie’s New York on December 13, 2018 for a very rare Pond Lily table lamp.

Tiffany Studios Pond Lily table lamp, Christie’s lot #9, December 13, 2018

Mike Fredericks had the following to say after the sale. “Upon seeing the lamp, particularly the distinct pattern of the waves in the globe, I was certain that we had the exact lamp from the 1900 Expo, and that this was an extraordinary find. The uncertainty was how would a historical, possible one-of-a-kind, yet non-leaded Tiffany lamp be received by the collecting community. As we can now see, it was received quite well, as a masterpiece as this should have been.

The family was very open to my suggestion that a conservative estimate would encourage bidder participation, and the results are better than anticipated. This was a magnificent piece of Tiffany history, and a magnificent windfall for a very excited family of consignors. Great results for our team at Rago Wright, as well, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Congratulations to the whole Rago/Wright crew for a fabulous job and a world record price! And congratulations to the family for a possibly life-changing result!

Tune in next week for a review of the rest of the sale.


Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Some results from Brunk Auction’s Art Glass sale, April 23, 2021

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Brunk Auction, Asheville, NC, held an Art Glass sale on April 23, 2021. Many of the items were from the Estate of Jay R. Doros, Springfield, New Jersey; a prominent collector.

Tiffany Favrile Tel el Amarna vase, Brunk lot #1

I set everything up (at least I thought so) to bid online at the auction, but Murphy’s Law was in effect. I tried to bid on lot 1 but the computer wouldn’t let me. This is the lot I wanted more than anything else in the sale, as it was a fabulous and rare red Tiffany Favrile Tel el Amarna vase with great color and a black decorated collar. By the time I straightened out the mess, the lot was long gone for a very low price. I couldn’t have been more upset. It sold for $5,228, including buyer’s premium, against a very low estimate of $500 – $700. It was accompanied by an original receipt from Sotheby’s; June 8, 1988, lot 465, $8800. I could have sold it in the range of $15,000 – $20,000, so you can understand my chagrin.

Tiffany Favrile cameo vase, Brunk lot #5

Another really good Tiffany Favrile lot was #5, a cameo vase. The red flowers had been molten applied and then the entire vase was hand-carved by a glass artist after cooling. I wanted to buy this one too, but it went for $10,880, including buyer’s premium, against an estimate of $800 – $1,200. The lot was accompanied by an original purchase receipt from Prozzo Auction, Portland, Maine, where it was purchased in August, 2006 for $11,300. Hmm.

Durand Lava vase, Brunk lot #46

The market for non-Tiffany art glass has been weak for the last decade or so, but a rare Durand Lava vase still did well. It sold for $5,843, including buyer’s premium, against an estimate of $300 – $500. That’s pretty good considering it had problem issues of a “tiny internal rim crack, faint hairline at interior of base, some scratches”. Ordinarily problems like that would sink any lesser item. It had originally been purchased at Fanfare Antiques, Lahoska, Pennsylvania, in August, 1973 for $5,500. So it held its value better than most non-Tiffany glass.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A review of the most expensive Tiffany Studios lamps ever sold at public auction

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


I thought it would be interesting to take a historic look at the Tiffany Studios lamp market. I forgot which lamps were the winners, so my research was interesting to me (and hopefully you too). Following is a brief review.

Tiffany Studios Pond Lily table lamp, Christie’s lot #9, December 13, 2018

December, 2018 was an auspicious month in the annals of Tiffany Studios history, as the top two prices ever for Tiffany Studios lamps sold at public auction were achieved. December 13, 2018 was the date Christie’s New York set the record for the highest price. A very rare Pond Lily table lamp, selling as lot #9, with an estimate of $1,800,000 – $2,500,000, realized an impressive $3,372,500, including buyer’s premium. 

Tiffany Studios Trumper Creeper table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #327, December 12,2018

The day before, December 12, 2018, Sotheby’s New York broke the record for the highest price ever with a rare, colorful Trumpet Creeper lamp. Estimated at $800,000 – $1,200,000, it sold for $2,295,000, including buyer’s premium. The record would last only one day when it would be surpassed by the Pond Lily lamp, pictured above, at Christie’s New York.

Tiffany Studios Magnolia floor lamp, Christie’s lot #319, December 6, 2005

We have to go all the way back to December 6, 2005 to find the third place lamp, a magnificent Magnolia floor lamp. It sold at Christie’s New York as lot #319, with an estimate of $900,000 – $1,200,000 and realized $2,032,000, including buyer’s premium.

Surprisingly only 12 Tiffany Studios lamps have ever cracked the $1,000,000 mark and approximately 32 more have crossed the $500,000 mark. Unsurprisingly many of these 44 exclusive lamps have been Wisteria examples.

For the top lots from Sotheby’s click here. For the top lots from Christie’s click here.

Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A few results from Sotheby’s A Vision: The Collection of Michelle Smith sale, April 22, 2021

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Sotheby’s New York held A Vision: The Collection of Michelle Smith sale on April 22, 2021, with impressive total sales of $42,868,648. Included in the sale were several lamps and miscellaneous items by Tiffany Studios. Following is a review of several of them.

For the most part, the results for the Tiffany Studios items were weak, which is interesting because the Tiffany market is actually quite strong at the moment. I can only attribute that to the fact that the lamps were not in a 20th Century sale, but rather in a single-owner sale. I certainly had no idea that Tiffany lamps might be in the collection of Michelle Smith. In fact, I had never even heard of Michelle Smith.

Tiffany Studios 20″ diameter Poppy table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #54

Lot #54 was a stunning Tiffany Studios 20″ diameter Poppy table lamp on a very rare water lily base. From the photo, it looked fabulous, but I wasn’t going to bid since I hadn’t previewed the sale. I just couldn’t afford to take the risk without first having seen it in person. It sold below its low estimate of $180,000, realizing $201,600, including buyer’s premium. Seems like a bargain to me. The base alone is worth at least $150,000 and the shade at least $100,000. I thought the lamp would sell closer to $300,000.

Tiffany 17″ diameter Dragonfly table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #86

Lot #86 was an important Tiffany Studios 17″ diameter Dragonfly table lamp; more so for the base than the shade. The background glass was only fair, but the wings were a lovely mauve color. I’d give it a 7.5. The base was a rare, important Dragonfly mosaic example. I’d give it a 10. Most of the time the shade is more valuable than the base, but not for these two lamps. It sold below its low estimate of $220,000, realizing $252,000, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Studios Pine Needle desk set, Sotheby’s lot #77

I gasped and giggled when I saw the result of a 3-piece Tiffany Studios Pine Needle desk set, lot #77. It sold for $13,860, including buyer’s premium, against an estimate of $1,000 – $1,500. I sell these same 3 pieces in the range of $3,500 – $4,500 all day long. Hey you, Mr./Ms. buyer! Please call or email me and I’ll help fill out your set for a lot less money!

There were many interesting results that I didn’t mention, including millions of dollars spent on lots by Lalanne and Giacometti. Click here for the complete results.

Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A review of some recent sales

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


I’m anxious to get back to business at antique shows. The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show will be the first possibility, but the Palm Beach Show Group has not scheduled a date yet. I assume it’s because the Baltimore Convention Center is still being used as a field hospital for Covid related activities. The tentative month for the rescheduled event is November, 2021.

In the meantime, I’m still doing good business from my website. Following is a review of some recent sales.

Tiffany Studios 20″ diameter Dragonfly table lamp

I bought a fine Tiffany Studios 20″ diameter Dragonfly table lamp privately. It had very nice green mottled glass in the background with green jewels, olive green dragonfly bodies, red and green swirled wings, and red jeweled eyes. It sold to the first person I offered it to. I’m trying hard to buy more Tiffany lamps, but they’re very difficult to replace at fair prices.

Daum Nancy Birch Tree scenic vase, before cleaning
Daum Nancy Birch Tree scenic vase, after cleaning

I sent photos of a beautiful Daum Nancy Birch Tree scenic vase to a client. He bought it from the photo. When I received the vase, I saw that it was dirty, so I cleaned it. It wasn’t just dirty, it was filthy, probably from a smoker’s house. The difference was dramatic, as evidenced in the two photos above. The colors are vivid now, with beautiful yellows and purples, especially in the background trees.

Daum Nancy Berry vase

I sold the beautiful Daum Nancy Berry vase pictured above. Why it took a while to sell is beyond me. It was gorgeous. I had to discount it more than I would have liked, but I hope that made the buyer happy.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got some good Tiffany Studios items, especially lamps, that you’re looking to sell or trade. I’m also on the hunt for good pâte-de-verre by Argy-Rousseau and A. Walter and French cameo glass by Daum Nancy and Gallé. Please email me with your offers. I’ll write you a check and buy your items outright.


Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

I tried to buy a couple of items at auction, but…

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Monumental Le Verre Francais Poissons bowl

I tried to buy a rare, monumental (8½” tall x 16½” diameter) Le Verre Francais Poissons bowl at auction in France on March 16, 2021. I haven’t been selling much Le Verre Francais glass for several years, so I wasn’t really in the market, but this one was really rare. I also don’t like to deal in huge items and this one qualified as huge. Most of the time they’re not worth the extra space and effort.

The estimate was very low at €600 – €1,000. I was willing to pay €2,000, which equates to a landed cost in New York of $3,500, including buyer’s premium and shipping. At that price, I was willing to deal with the difficulties. The bidding started at a few hundred euros and jumped to €3,000 and then suddenly to €7,000. Finally a couple of determined bidders drove the final price to €16,250 ($19,500), including buyer’s premium. Wowza!

(I just found out yesterday, 4/12/21, from a client that the bowl is now being offered for sale by a European dealer for approximately $40,000. It was displayed at a recent fair.)

Gallé plum blownout vase

The next item was an exercise in frustration. I wanted to bid on a Gallé plum blownout vase at auction in France on April 10, 2021. The model is moderately rare, with pretty good color. The estimate was fair at €3,000 – €5,000. I did all my due diligence. I asked for a condition report and made arrangements to bid on the telephone. I even had the auction house confirm my phone bidding. So what happened? Nothing! They never called me. Argh! Dummkopfs!

But I have been successful in buying recently, so I can’t complain too much. I’ll try to list the new items as soon as I can.


Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Treasures can still be found at yard sales

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Everyone dreams of going to a yard sale and finding a treasure, but what are the odds? Pretty slim, if you ask me; about as good as winning the lottery. But people do win the lottery and so do some yard sale buyers.

6¼” Ming Dynasty bowl

A simple-looking, 6¼” diameter, Chinese bowl was bought at a yard sale near New Haven, CT for $35 (without bargaining). The buyer suspected it was something good, so they sent a photo to the Chinese expert at Sotheby’s New York. And what a good move that was! It was indeed important.

The bowl was consigned to auction at Sotheby’s. They described it as An exceptional and rare blue and white ‘floral’ bowl, Ming dynasty, Yongle period, dating to the 15th century. On March 17, 2021, with an estimate of $300,000 – $500,000, it sold for $721,800, including buyer’s premium.

I’ve never won the lottery, but it has to be the same feeling. Congrats are in order. Well done! Had I been at that yard sale, I never would have even picked up the bowl. Knowledge is power. Even the knowledge to know you have to ask someone else. I do feel bad for the sellers who sold it at the yard sale. I hope the buyer would consider going back to offer a reward.

Click here if you want to see the lot described in Sotheby’s catalog. Click here if you want to read CNN’s writeup.


Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.


Cottone Auctions sold Tiffany lamps at their Fine Art & Antiques auction, March 27, 2021

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Cottone Auctions, Geneseo, NY, held a Fine Art & Antiques auction on March 27, 2021. Included in the sale was a nice collection of Tiffany Studios lamps and objects. Following is a review of a few of the lamps.

Tiffany Studios 20″ diameter Pond Lily table lamp, Cottone’s lot #77

Lot #77, a beautiful 20″ diameter Tiffany Studios Pond Lily table lamp sold for $138,000, including buyer’s premium, against an estimate of $60,000 – $80,000. It was rare and gorgeous, so I wasn’t surprised by the result. It was the top lot of the Tiffany lamps.

Tiffany Studios 16″ diameter Daffodil table lamp, Cottone’s lot #78
Tiffany Studios 14″ diameter Tulip table lamp, Cottone’s lot #79

Strangely, in my opinion, the next lot, #78, sold for more than the following lot, #79. I thought the results should have been reversed. But alas, the bidders did not listen to me. (What is wrong with them??) Lot #78, a 16″ diameter Daffodil, sold for $61,200, including buyer’s premium, while lot #79, a beautiful 14″ diameter Tulip sold for $42,000, both including buyer’s premium. They each started with identical estimates of $30,000 – $50,000. I wanted to buy lot #79, but the price was too high for me to make a profit.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. You will have to sign in (free) to see the prices.

Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A review of some recent sales

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Business has been surprisingly good during the pandemic, as I’ve been saying for the last year or so. Following is a review of some recent sales.

I traded a beautiful Handel Jungle Bird lamp from my personal collection for a rare Tiffany Studios Turtleback candlestick/lamp.

Handel Jungle Bird table lamp

Then I sold the candlestick. It was a good trade because everyone involved was pleased.

Rare Tiffany Studios Turtleback candlestick

I’ve been selling a lot of pâte-de-verre items by Argy-Rousseau and Walter, including a very rare Argy-Rousseau veilleuse (night light) called Fleurs et Bourgeons (Flowers and Buds), pictured below.

Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre night light Fleurs et Bourgeons (Flowers and Buds)

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got some good Tiffany Studios items, especially lamps, that you’re looking to sell or trade. I’m also on the hunt for good pâte-de-verre by Argy-Rousseau and A. Walter and French cameo glass by Daum Nancy and Gallé. Please email me with your offers. I don’t want your item on consignment. I’ll write you a check and buy it outright.


Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

I tried to buy a couple of items at auction, but…

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Emile Gallé Marquetry Verrerie Parlante coupe (The black spots are just dirt.)

I tried to buy a very rare and important Gallé marquetry Verrerie Parlante coupe at an auction in Rouen, France, on March 6, 2021. Gallé exhibited it at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900 (see the photo below). It had an inscription in French by the poet Marcelline Desbordes-Valmore (1768-1859); Tout ce ciel que je porte en moi-même caché. The quotation is the reason the vase is described as Verrerie Parlante (Talking Glass). The marquetry designation refers to the inlaid glass on glass decoration.

I had hoped to buy the coupe for €25,000, hammer price. I dropped out at €35,000. Apparently they didn’t need me because the final price was €165,000 ($201,300), including buyer’s premium. Silly me! It will either enter one of the best collections in the world or will be exhibited in a museum, as it should.

The coupe was exhibited in a showcase at the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition

The next day a very interesting Handel scenic overlay floor lamp came up for auction in Versailles, France. Go figure! It was originally estimated to sell for €1,200 – €1,500, but the auctioneers must have had some interest in the lamp and raised the estimate to €6,000 – €8,000. That was a foolish move in my opinion. Everything sells better when the estimate is low. It generates excitement because everyone thinks they’re in the game.

Handel overlay floor lamp

It sold for €3,800, or about $5,795, including buyer’s premium. The next bid was €4,000, or about $6,100. Shipping to the US would have added about $2,000, for a total of $8,100 landed in New York. Then the lamp needed some minor restoration to the metalwork of the shade and to the base, so let’s say $400. Now the total is $8,500.

I hadn’t sold one of these lamps in a long time, so I had to guess at today’s value. I’m an auction appraiser and authenticator for several important auction houses, so I would estimate the value at an American auction in the range of $6,000 – $8,000. And I could just as easily see it selling for $7,500 as $15,000. I didn’t have enough confidence in the result so I wasn’t willing to make the effort, incur the expense and take the risk.

I’m curious what you think the lamp was worth or what you would have been willing to pay for it. It’s water under the bridge, so now it’s just a game. Write to me and let me know. My email address is on my website. I don’t want to write it here because I get enough junk mail as it is.


Let me know what interests you, even if you don’t see it on my website. I’ve got lots of items that I haven’t listed yet and I know how to locate what you desire.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.