Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Louis Gudebrod, Mermaid Tiffany Desk Lamp, 1885/1920

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Louis Gudebrod, Mermaid Tiffany Desk Lamp, 1885/1920.

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From the site:
"In an effort to reach the interiors of a greater population, Tiffany began to design lamps to allow more people to enjoy art and beauty in their own home. Colored glass, Tiffany’s lasting love and challenge, found fresh scope and inspiration. While the windows served to transmit the light of day, the lamps represent a new source of illumination independent of daylight.

Fabrication of the lamps began in 1885, with the majority of them being made between 1895 and 1920. Louis Gudebrod was a well known American Art Nouveau sculptor whom Louis Comfort Tiffany retained to create a limited production lamp base of a lovely mermaid holding above her head a lighted nautilus shell. The resulting Mermaid Desk Lamps were some of the earliest electrified fixtures produced by Tiffany Studios.

Sitting atop the marked Guderbrod mermaid base, this lamp was produced with both natural nautilus shell as well as a stained glass version. Both types were extremely difficult to manufacture for different reasons. Natural nautilus shell is inherently very fragile, making it very difficult to polish and drill for the lamp fixture holders. The stained glass nautilus shell was even more challenging, requiring the leaded glass shade to wrap back upon itself and curl underneath to almost disappear within. As such, the mermaid desk lamps were produced for only a few years and in very limited numbers, and few of these beautiful lamps still exist today with most in permanent collections.

The lamp measures 16.0" high and 10.0" long. The base is inscribed "Gudebrod" and marked Tiffany Studios New York."


Anonymous said...

My name is Martine Gudebrod-Sween. I recently found out that Louis had a brother, Frederick, who was my grandfather. My father was an artist, a writer/journalist for the New Yorker, New York Times and the Stars and Stripe during WWII. I'm just happy to know that Louis' works are still appreciated after all these years.

Mariana said...

Hi Martine, I love this lamp very much. It must be great seeing ancestors still talked about and appreciated in blogs and sites. :) I have another site where I post old Portuguese magazines, and one of the most gratifying things is when people contact me to say "That singer was my mother, that now forgotten painter was my uncle, etc, thanks for reminding the world of their cultural legacy".

Thank you for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martine, I don't know how long ago you wrote this but I am the granddaughter of your Aunt Edna, your father Morton's older sister. My father is Wilbur Hooven. I met you and Roxanne and no doubt your mother once a long time ago. Actually, I have been trying to find you two. Are you still in CA? My older brother Bob has lived in Pleasanton for quite a few years. Let me know if you would like to be in contact.
Jane Hooven Templeman

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