Art and industry

At Rago Arts and Auction Center in 2012, the owners purchased a Rose Valley oak and leather-upholstered open armchair (see Fig. 1), also de­signed by Price and carved with monkeys and dragons,2 along with wrought-iron fireplace forks from Arden, a utopian community cofounded by Price in Delaware.

Ironwork by Samuel Yellin-who, like Price, studied at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts and subsequently taught there-is a more recent interest of the collectors, who have purchased a pair of 1920s wrought-iron gates with dragon's head finials (see Fig. 7) and an S-curve sample piece of about 1921 with lushly foliate terminals. The couple mounted the sample above the fireplace in the dining room, which Price endowed with a picturesque bowed ceiling (Fig. 9).

As a young man, the husband was captivated by The Champions of the Mississippi: "A Race for the Buckhorns," Currier and Ives's gripping 1866 depiction of a steamboat competition by moonlight. Nurtured by Kenneth M. Newman of the Old Print Shop, the couple made their first pur­chases of antiques-maps and Currier and Ives prints.

Having paid off their student loans they began searching for Tiffany glass, which intrigued the husband from the moment he first admired it in a friend's house in Chicago. Over time the couple acquired more than a dozen pieces by Tiffany Studios, among them several table lamps made between 1905 and 1910, with Poppy, Daffodil, Apple Blossom, and Poinsettia shades and patinated bronze bases of various styles (see Figs. 5, 12). An endearing 7 ½- inch-tall three-panel bronze and glass Iris tea screen (Fig. 8), probably designed by Clara Driscoll, trav­eled with the New-York Historical Society's 2007 exhibition A New Light on Tiffany, showcasing Driscoll, head of the Women's Glass Cutting Depart­ment at Tiffany Studios, and her "Tiffany Girls."

In the dining room, over an oak table by the English architect and designer Thomas Jeckyll, hangs a Daffodil chandelier of about 1905, notable for its use of fractured, or "confetti," glass (see Fig. 9). Large, irregular chunks of glass called "turtleback tiles" emit a molten glow from a chandelier of about the same date that dangles over the Arthur Romney Green drop-leaf table in the couple's breakfast room.

Their first Tiffany window glass, now installed in a powder room, depicts peonies and steps and is a panel from a larger landscape window made about 1908 to 1912 for the Pittsburgh mansion of Richard B. Mellon. Other panels from the window are in the Carnegie and Charles Hosmer Morse museums.

Violet clematis and flame red trumpet vines tumble from the corners of a bay window that the couple installed in their kitchen overlooking a se­cluded garden (see Fig. 10). From the New Jersey residence of Tiffany manager Joseph Briggs, and possibly made by Briggs himself around 1912, the still life is rendered in mottled, striated, fractured, and textured Favrile glass on a shaded and mottled glass ground. "It is at the highest level of Tiffany's art, a domestic window incorporating the company's most popular themes and difficult glass," the husband says.

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[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi

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