Tiffany Studios Bronze Framed Favrile Glass Mosaic Panel
Commissioned for Dorothy Linn (Mrs. Cyrus McCormick), Lake Forest, Illinois, circa 1915-22
Height 36 inches, width 25 inches.
Collection of Mr. & Mrs. William A. Perry, circa 1965 to the present day
Doyle is honored to bring to auction this magnificent and exceedingly rare nautical themed favrile glass mosaic panel made by the Ecclesiastical Department at Tiffany Studios for Dorothy Linn (Mrs. Cyrus Hall McCormick III) of Lake Forest, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1915-22. The arched panel is comprised of a wondrous kaleidoscope of variously shaped and colored small jewel-like glass tesserae. This tranquil underwater composition depicts a seahorse in profile, a tortoise, goldfish, angel fish, snail, crustacean, coral branch and sinuous seaweed beneath shimmering blue water surrounded by a wide border of colorless glass tiles backed with gold foil.
Tiffany glass mosaics are quite rare and rarer still are those with secular rather than ecclesiastical subjects such as the present work. It is also extremely unusual to know the name of the original patron for whom such items were made. In this instance, aside from its original owner, Dorothy Linn, the panel has had only one owner, the present consignor, who acquired it in about 1965. Also of great significance, the precise ownership and patronage of this previously unknown Tiffany glass mosaic panel is further confirmed by the original watercolor sketch for the panel that miraculously also has survived. Now in the private collection of Allen Michaan, the sketch appeared and was sold at auction in Maine in December 2011. It is inscribed "SUGGESTION OF MOSAIC PANEL FOR MRS. CYRUS MCCORMICK LAKE FOREST ILL." The sketch is numbered 3125 and was personally signed and approved by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Cyrus Hall McCormick III (1890-1970) was vice president of International Harvester Co. of Chicago and grandson of Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809-1884), inventor of the mechanical reaper machine in 1831 and founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. This firm later merged with another company to create International Harvester Co. Cyrus H. McCormick III and Dorothy Linn were married in 1915 and divorced in 1931. She was born in Chicago on September 2, 1892. Her father, William R. Linn, was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. In later years, Ms. Linn went by the names Dorothy Butler and Dorothy Willard. She was one of the founders of the Actor's Studio and also produced a number of stage works. She traveled extensively and lived in a palatial home on Washington Springs Road in the secret celebrity enclave of Sneden's Landing, near the Hudson River in Palisades, New York. The late journalist Mike Wallace owned and lived in a house on the estate from 1959 until 1970. Dorothy Willard's papers are now in the collection of Columbia University in New York City.
The McCormick families were amongst the wealthiest and most influential in Chicago's high society. Harold Fowler McCormick (b. 1872), brother of Cyrus H. McCormick II, also worked for International Harvester and served as the company's vice-president from 1901 until 1919. Harold became a son-in-law of John D. Rockefeller after he married Rockefeller's daughter, Edith, in 1895. Harold and Cyrus H. McCormick II's sister, Anita (Mrs. Emmons Blaine), had a reported wealth of more than several million dollars in 1901. In March of that year, Mrs. Blaine gifted $1,000,000 in real estate and securities to endow and support the University of Chicago School of Education, which later became a part of the University of Chicago. At the wedding of Joseph Medill McCormick, great-nephew of Cyrus H. McCormick I, to Ruth Hanna, in June 1903, President Roosevelt and his daughter, Alice, were in attendance and gifted the couple a set of gold after dinner cups and saucers. At the Linn-McCormick wedding, Harold Fowler McCormick led the wedding procession, which was described in great detail in The Chicago Tribune on February 14, 1915. According to the report, "The wedding presents comprise jewels which make Mrs. McCormick [Dorothy Linn] owner of one of the most costly assortments in Chicago. The bridegroom's present was a large string of pearls. Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus H. McCormick's gift was a hair ornament of diamonds and emeralds, green being the bride's favorite color. Mrs. Martin Ryerson, the bride's godmother, gave her a brooch consisting of one large emerald and diamonds, a family heirloom."
Patronage of the Tiffany Studios firm also existed in the prior generation. Dorothy Linn's father-in-law, Cyrus H. McCormick Jr. (1859-1936), married Harriet Bradley Hammond (1862-1921) at St. Mary's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Grove, California, in 1889. In 1922, a year after the death of his beloved wife, Cyrus Hall Jr. donated a pair of beautiful and colorful Tiffany leaded glass windows decorated with foxgloves and lilies to the church in memory of his wife.
C Property of Mr. & Mrs. William A. Perry
Additional Notes & Condition Report
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