An exceptionally rare Tiffany Studios-made candlestick from Cleveland’s exclusive Rowfant Club sold for a record price of $20,400 (including the Buyer’s Premium) highlighting Cowan’s Winter Cleveland Auction. The bronze gopher form tied for the top lot of the day, which also saw robust bidding on jade figurines, bronze sculptures by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, and mechanical banks spurring Cowan’s to a $305,454 sale.
Made in 1903, the Rowfant Club candlestick is one of just 100 of its kind that were ever made by Tiffany Studios. Standing at 8.25 inches, the candlestick depicts a groundhog, the mascot of the Rowfant Club, seated on an open book.
Founded in 1892, the Rowfant Club is Cleveland’s premier bibliographic society celebrating the art of the book including paper making, bookbinding, and printing. With the Shakespearean motto of “Light Seeking Light Doth Light of Light Beguile,” members meet annually on Groundhog Day and each member receives a candlestick featuring a groundhog. Members then use these sticks throughout the year to reserve their seats at dinner at their weekly meetings.
“It’s not only a beautiful form, but a truly unique piece of Cleveland history,” said Carrie Pinney, Cowan’s Cleveland business manager. “It’s rare that these candlesticks become available to non-members and clearly collectors were eager to try to get their hands on one.”
In addition to the Tiffany Studios candlestick, the auction featured nine other Rowfant Club candlesticks with the entire collection selling for a combined $25,005.75.