On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
Although Louis Comfort Tiffany also designed mosaics, ceramics, lighting, jewelry, metalwork, and interiors, he is perhaps best known for his work in glass. Tiffany, a son of the founder of the New York jewelry and silver firm Tiffany and Company, had already earned a reputation for his interiors and stained-glass windows when in 1893 he established what would become Tiffany Studios, a glass factory in Corona, Queens, with the English glassblower Arthur Nash. Together they developed a new type of blown glass that stood out for its embedded iridescent colors, metallic luster, and satiny surfaces. Tiffany named the glass Favrile, borrowing from the Old English word fabrile, referring to handwork. It was Nash, however, who invented the glass formula, which he kept a closely guarded secret—even from Tiffany himself. Tiffany Studios did not produce all the Favrile shades for their bronze lamps themselves. The studio collaborated with the New York City firm of Quezal Art Glass and Decorating Company, for example, on the lamp with lily-flower shades seen here.
Tiffany was inspired by ancient Roman and Syrian glass, which, when it was buried in the earth, had turned iridescent as it reacted to the minerals in the soil. Tiffany produced Favrile glass in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. He considered the pieces to be works of art and actively endeavored to place them in museum collections.
Tiffany Studios also manufactured popular but expensive bronze and brilliantly colored stained-glass lamps suitable for the recently invented electric light bulb. Clara Driscoll, head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department at Tiffany Studios, was responsible for the design of this Dragonfly lamp. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women played increasingly important design and fabrication roles in the production of decorative arts, including ceramics, glass, and furniture.
13 1/4 x 4 x 4 in. (33.7 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm) (show scale)
Scratched on bottom: "04147" with original circular paper label printed: TIFFANY/FAVRILE GLASS/REGISTERED TRADEMARK" in circle around cypher including letters "GDT Co."
Gift of Charles W. Gould
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Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848-1933). Vase, ca. 1900. "Favrile" glass, 13 1/4 x 4 x 4 in. (33.7 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles W. Gould, 14.739.8. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 14.739.8_SL1.jpg)
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