Tiffany Studios Spanish Pattern Desk Set
Appraised Value: $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:21)
Metalwork & Sculpture
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: My grandfather worked for Tiffany's back in the '30s, and one Christmas it was a Christmas bonus that he received.
APPRAISER: And what did your grandfather do at Tiffany's?
GUEST: He was a salesman for the stained glass. That's what he sold, for churches and sacred items and things like that.
APPRAISER: You have this wonderful desk set. It's in a very rare pattern. It's called the Spanish pattern. And what's interesting is when your grandfather was given it, there was a list here of the pieces and the values at the time, which was in 1935. In addition, there's this wonderful card from Joseph Briggs, who was the manager of Tiffany Studios at the time. This is the very tail end of Tiffany Studios, 1935.
APPRAISER: I mean, they were virtually in bankruptcy and they probably had no money to give him a bonus, so this was it. And they often paid employees with items rather than having to pay them. Tiffany Studios made about 15 different desk set patterns. They had an American Indian pattern, they had a Chinese pattern, they had patterns that had bronze with glass set in them, they had pieces that had mosaics in them. So, it was really quite an undertaking. And some of these sets would have 30, 40 pieces, and what's nice is you have this whole set, which you can see makes quite an impressive display. This is blotter ends-- there would have been a blotter in between this piece and that piece. This is a memo pad. This is a perpetual calendar here. You have this pen tray. This is called a rocker blotter. This is a daily memo pad. This is the letter rack. You have a letter opener, a magnifying glass, an ink well and this great pair of bookends, which is a particularly rare piece.
APPRAISER: Somehow bookends always seem to get separated from the sets. And it has what they called the Spanish pattern. So you have these figures from looks like Spanish history, sort of Renaissance-looking, grotesque griffins. Most people think of Tiffany in the Art Nouveau style, but he has a range of styles. And these were commercially made things to cover a whole range of different tastes. And people pay a premium for having a complete set like this. In a good shop, this set, complete, would sell for about $15,000.
GUEST: Wow, that's great.
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