Louis Comfort Tiffany is best known as the decorative artist who created works of stained glass, including lamps, vases and jewelry. But for antiques collectors, Tiffany’s lesser known and larger works, such as the leaded-glass windows hanging in New York’s Park Avenue Armory, provide the most astonishing evidence of his individual genius.
This weekend, lovers of Tiffany and all things antique and artistic have one last chance to see those windows along with many other one-of-a-kind works at the Armory’s Winter Antiques Show 2013, where a New York mix of young art and design enthusiasts, connected gallery owners and seasoned high-net-worth collectors crowd together to look at—and shop for—museum-quality historic works.
For example, on view at the Geoffrey Diner Gallery’s booth is a Tiffany fire screen made in 1905 of favrile glass and wrought iron. The fire screen was once the property of the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., but it was “deacquisitioned,” in antique dealers’ parlance, and is now available for sale at a cool $2 million or so.
“This is an absolutely stunning piece. This is a tour de force object,” said Jennifer Garland Ross, managing director for art advisory and appraisal consortium Art Peritus, during a Tuesday press tour of some of the Winter Antiques Show’s delights prior to a cocktail party sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
(Gallery owner Geoffrey Diner said a couple of collectors showed interest in the piece but then backed away after hearing the price.)
The Tiffany work is also a stunningly good example of why collectors need to protect and preserve their antiques and get appraisals for them, said Kathleen Tierney, executive vice president of Chubb & Son and chief operating officer of Chubb Personal Insurance.