Show-off! Spectacular Tiffany Studios ‘Peacock’ lamp flies to $307,500 at Morphy’s Dec. 18-19 Fine & Decorative Arts Auction

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Other highlights: Tiffany ‘Nasturtium’ lamp, $110,700 + ‘Daffodil’ lamp, $73,800; Amphora Crocodile vase, $31,980; 1851 $50 gold coin, $26,400; horse-drawn ambulance occupational shaving mug, $23,370

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s gallery glowed with holiday spirit on December 18-19 as the Pennsylvania company presented the 2023 edition of its popular pre-Christmas Fine & Decorative Arts Auction. The impressive array of antiques and luxury goods offered top-tier choices from dozens of categories ranging from avant-garde European art pottery to 19th-century gold jewelry, marine paintings and scarce occupational shaving mugs. The final tally for the two-day sale was $2.1 million, inclusive of buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Studios ‘Peacock’ leaded-glass table lamp on rare, matching ‘Peacock’ base. One of Tiffany’s most beloved and iconic glass patterns, with motif of peacock feathers with captivating ‘eyes.’ Signed shade and base. Excellent condition. Sold above high estimate for $307,500
Tiffany Studios ‘Peacock’ leaded-glass table lamp on rare, matching ‘Peacock’ base. One of Tiffany’s most beloved and iconic glass patterns, with motif of peacock feathers with captivating ‘eyes.’ Signed shade and base. Excellent condition. Sold above high estimate for $307,500

During the auction preview, a full spectrum of brilliant hues beamed from the lineup of majestic Tiffany Studios leaded-glass lamps. At the pinnacle of the showy lighting group was a Tiffany Peacock table lamp on a rare, matching Peacock base. A beloved and iconic glass pattern, with a motif that replicates peacock feathers with mesmerizing “eyes,” Peacock features a background of deep, saturated purples that progress to softer lavenders and blues, ultimately terminating in emerald greens and yellows along the lower apron. In excellent condition and signed on both the shade and base, this breathtaking lamp sold comfortably above its high estimate for $307,500.

Another top performer in the Tiffany Studios selection was a Nasturtium leaded-glass table lamp whose colorway incorporates some of Tiffany’s most complex types of glass, including streamer, confetti, ripple and drapery. Signed both on its shade and under its library base, the lamp garnered a within-estimate price of $110,700.

Also having a fine day on the auction block, a Tiffany Studios Daffodil leaded-glass table lamp with a ribbon column and patinated bronze library base with onion-bulb pattern was signed on the shade, and both signed and stamped under the base. An additional stamped number to its underside suggested that the lamp was likely a showroom model. It retired at a pleasing $73,800 against an estimate of $60,000-$80,000. 

A historic Midwestern design that did not go unnoticed was an extremely rare and important stained-glass window designed by Marion Mahony Griffin, a trailblazing female architect who collaborated with and influenced fellow architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1907, Griffin installed the 39-inch by 24-inch window at the Elkhart, Indiana, farmhouse of her brother, Gerald, and sister-in-law, Hattie. Fortunately, the window was salvaged prior to the house’s destruction in 1967. Extensively vetted and authenticated, it sold within estimate for $26,460.

From a selection of 28 pieces of coveted Amphora earthenware, an extremely rare circa-1902 Crocodile vase took a bite out of its estimate to lead the specialty group. A book example (seen in Vreeland’s Monsters and Maidens: Collectors Edition), the 16½-inch-tall masterwork in green and gold earth tones depicts a meticulously-detailed croc with its mouth agape and reticulated tail wrapped around the vessel’s wide base. In mint condition, the rare form sold for a hefty $31,980 against an estimate of $15,000-$20,000. Another prized Amphora vase, with two sculpted, red-glazed starfish applied to its body, likewise ignored pre-sale expectations, realizing $17,220 against an estimate of $2,500-$3,500.

More than 200 lots of jewelry, coins and watches were offered, including 12 Rolexes and 34 pocket pocket watches by such esteemed brands as Hamilton, Waltham, and Elgin. A most unusual entry was a 14K gold hunting-case pocket watch made circa-1885 by Illinois Watch Co., for the private label William B Miller of Sacramento, California. Its ornate 14K gold pocket-watch chain was set with 14 individual pieces of inlaid gold quartz and two additional gold quartz fobs, weighing a total of 271.8 ounces. The handsome timekeeper ticked with precision to a within-estimate price of $14,400. A shining highlight that arose from the coins and currency category was an 1851 US $50 gold coin known as an Augustus Humbert 887, smoothed with VF details. With PCGS authentication, it sold within its estimate range for $26,400. 

Over the past two decades, Morphy’s has led the auction industry in cultivating a collector market for occupational shaving mugs. A staple at barber shops of the 19th and early 20th centuries, these unique, personalized mugs were customarily embellished to reflect each customer’s profession or hobby and would be stored on a wall-rack until the patron’s next visit. The December 18 session included more than 200 shaving mugs apportioned into 180 lots. Although some portrayed mainstream occupations, others depicted unusual professions, such as racecar driver, baseball player, bowler, chauffeur, casket builder, firefighter, beekeeper, and even juggler. A mug depicting a horse-drawn ambulance and driver, with the name C McNulty in fancy gilt lettering, sold for $23,370 against an estimate of $300-$600.

A sampling of other highlights appearing within the varied selection of 1,200+ lots were: a ladies’ platinum eternity band with 9.15 carats of emerald-cut diamonds, selling within estimate at $15,360; a circa-1874 Wooton (Indianapolis) extra grade carved walnut desk in Renaissance Revival style, $9,375; and a very rare Ami Rivenc Black Forest-style cylinder music box, $8,400 against an estimate of $2,000-$5,000.

To discuss consigning fine or decorative art, antiques, fine jewelry, coins or vintage collectibles to a future auction conducted by Morphy’s, please call 877-968-8880 or email [email protected]. Visit Morphy’s online at

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