Tiffany Studios Favrile Glass Flower Form Vase Circa 1905
Engraved “L.C. Tiffany Inc. – Favrile 1543-1238N”
Height: 14 inches, Diameter: 4.75 Inches
Condition Excellent with no damage or repairs
Tiffany glass refers to the many and varied types of glass developed and produced from 1878 to 1933 at the Tiffany Studios in New York, by Louis Comfort Tiffany and a team of other designers, including Clara Driscoll, Agnes F. Northrop, and Frederick Wilson.
In 1865, Tiffany traveled to Europe, and in London he visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, whose extensive collection of Roman and Syrian glass made a deep impression on him. He admired the coloration of medieval glass and was convinced that the quality of contemporary glass could be improved upon. In his own words, the “Rich tones are due in part to the use of pot metal full of impurities, and in part to the uneven thickness of the glass, but still more because the glass maker of that day abstained from the use of paint”.
Tiffany was an interior designer, and in 1878 his interest turned toward the creation of stained glass, when he opened his own studio and glass foundry because he was unable to find the types of glass that he desired in interior decoration. His inventiveness both as a designer of windows and as a producer of the material with which to create them was to become renowned. Tiffany wanted the glass itself to transmit texture and rich colors and he developed a type of glass he called “Favrile”. The glass was manufactured at the Tiffany factory located at 96-18 43rd Avenue in the Corona section of Queens from 1901 to 1932.
The term “opalescent glass” is commonly used to describe glass where more than one color is present, being fused during the manufacture, as against flashed glass in which two colors may be laminated, or silver stained glass where a solution of silver nitrate is superficially applied, turning red glass to orange and blue glass to green. Some opalescent glass was used by several stained glass studios in England from the 1860s and 1870s onwards, notably Heaton, Butler and Bayne. Its use became increasingly common. Opalescent glass is the basis for the range of glasses created by Tiffany.
Tiffany patented Favrile glass in 1892. Favrile glass often has a distinctive characteristic that is common in some glass from Classical antiquity: it possesses a superficial iridescence. This iridescence causes the surface to shimmer, but also causes a degree of opacity. This iridescent effect of the glass was obtained by mixing different colors of glass together while hot.
According to Tiffany: “Favrile glass is distinguished by brilliant or deeply toned colors, usually iridescent like the wings of certain American butterflies, the necks of pigeons and peacocks, the wing covers of various beetles.”