A French Art Nouveau glass and wood footed bowl by Emile Gallé, featuring a multicolored pinched-sided glass bowl in yellow, purple, and green. The bowl sits atop a carved walnut foot with openwork floral design and scrolled base. Pictured in "Meubles et Ensembles Style 1900" by Edith Mannoni, page 54. Provenance: Private collection of Mr. Robert S. Walker.
An early Tiffany Studios New York favrile glass vase with pulled decoration. The vase features iridescent swirls in pinks and blues on a translucent pale brown background. Favrile is the trade name Tiffany gave to his blown art glass. The name derives from the Latin word fabrilis, meaning "made by hand." The technique was developed at the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in the mid-1890s using filaments from batches of differently colored glass and working the material while the glass was still molten. Ornamentation was added before the piece had its final shape, so that the decoration became fully integrated into the vessel. The technique was used in both decorative vases and functional pieces such as tableware (bowls, goblets, carafes) and lamp shades. Tiffany intended the favrile designation as a guarantee to current customers and future collectors of the fine quality of these objects. A vase with similar decoration is pictured in: "Louis C. Tiffany: Artist for the Ages" by Marilynn A. Johnson, London: Scala Publishers, Ltd., 2005, p. 228, cat. 130. Also in the collection of the Victorian Albert Museum, documented in "Louis C. Tiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch," Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2001, page 316.
A Tiffany Studios New York "Flower-Form" vase, featuring a green pulled-feather decoration on a cream ground. The vase has a goblet top and applied foot. Favrile glass vases in the shapes of stylized flowers were among the earliest creations of the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, forerunner of Tiffany Studios. Initial examples of this technique date from approximately 1894, although later pieces show greater refinement. Flower forms have great variety in stem length and rim shape. A similar vase is pictured in: "Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass", by Robert Koch (in "Louis C. Tiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch," Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2001, p. 94).
A Tiffany Studios New York favrile "paperweight" glass vase decorated with a band of white daisies with long green stems and enhanced with red accents. The paperweight technique involved fusing thin rods of transparent glass in a variety of colors. The resulting thicker rod was cut into thin pieces and were then worked into clear glass. A vase with similar decoration is pictured in: "Louis C. Tiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch," Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2001, p. 106.
A Tiffany Studios New York "Scarab" mosaic and gilt bronze covered box. This round box is decorated with vivid mosaics of red, yellow, orange, green, turquoise blue and black. The cover has three applied favrile glass scarab beetles. The scarabs confirm Tiffany''s fascination for Egyptian archeological discoveries and are a fine expression of his inspiration. Louis Comfort Tiffany first traveled to Egypt in 1872, two years after the opening of the Suez Canal and near the height of the ensuing American "Eyptomania." Tiffany was immediately taken with the ancient cultural legacies and starkly exotic landscape of 19th Century Egypt, and upon his return to New York he devoted himself to the rendering of several large scale oil paintings depicting the landscape, ancient wonders and then modern architecture of Cairo and the surrounding area. From that point onward the aesthetic language of ancient Egypt was never far from Tiffany''s mind, and it would appear in various motif forms in various works for the rest of his artistic career. Those works that demonstrate Tiffany''s great passion and careful study of ancient Egypt are now considered among the rarest and most collectible of his oeuvre. After a second Nile River Cruise in 1908 Tiffany resolved to celebrate his long enchantment with all things Egyptian with a Fete that would be written about for decades to come. Invitatio
ns to the strictly Egyptian-themed evening were on aged parchment in both hieroglyphs and English, and hand delivered to each of the bash''s 400 guests. Each of the attendees had to submit their costumes to astrict guidelines of authenticity overseen by a committee comprised of Egyptologists and authorities on costume art. Egyptian-inspired music, composed by Theodore Steinway, was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra as Pedro de Cordoba, playing Marc Antony, brought gifts of Favrile glass to a posing Cleopatra. Tiffany''s sons-in-law were dressed as Roman lictors, while his daughters were adorned with rare scarab objects from Tiffany''s personal collection, fashioned as jewelry. Robert De Forest, the famed president of the Metropolitan Museum of American Art, arrived as the one of the Maharajas of Punjab; John D. Rockefeller attended dressed as a pharaoh and Egyptian beauty queens wearing gigantic scarab wings served them North African fare. Tiffany spared no detail and no expense to recreate the opulence of ancient Egyptian courts, and created many decorative arts especially for the occasion. Tiffany was particularly interested in the importance of the scarab beetle in Egyptian mythology, and sparingly employed decorative depictions of the insect in his works, most probably due to his understanding of the supreme and sacred nature of the motif. However, those works that did include scarabs executed in the ancient Egyptian style are considered of special personal importance to Tiffany, and are especially important to find in Tiffany collections. The Egyptian name for the beetle is derived from the verb "to be created" or "to come into the world." The Egyptians considered the beetle to be the incarnation of the creator god, who had regenerated himself cyclically. The beetle was thus understood as a potent symbol of rebirth, and was tied to understandings of the daily rising sun. A similar mosaic box is pictured in: Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1988 p. 433, plate 1716; and in: Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 2004, p. 370.
A patinated bronze humidor by Tiffany Studios New York with cedar lining and interior cover with bronze knob. The top edge of the humidor is decorated with stylized flowers. The body has textured bumps all around. The top of the humidor has a sculpted design reminiscent of a volcanic crater. Volcanos were a central leitmotif throughout Tiffany''s oeuvre. In 1870, a 22-year-old Tiffany and the eminent Hudson River School painter Robert Swain Gifford visited Pompeii. While excavations had begun well over a century earlier, they were still mostly incomplete. The city''s dramatic history and the looming reminder of Vesuvius''s destructive potential stirred the romantic passions of 19th-century painters. The volcano reprised itself in Tiffany Studios'' largest mosaic commission, the crystal curtain at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The mosaic depicted the everlasting snows of Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, the extinct volcanoes that look down upon the valley of that city. Flowers blanket the volcanoes. Similarly, in the "Volcano humidor," the top edge of the humidor is decorated with stylized flowers, perhaps evoking the renewal of life after a volcanic eruption. An identical humidor belongs to the collection of Edgar Kauffman, Jr. at Frank Lloyd Wright''s Fallingwater. Fallingwater was home to an exclusively Japanese and Japonisme collection. Kauffman chose the
humidor for its Japanese- inspired metalwork and design. A similar humidor is pictured in: "Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models," by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1988, p. 450, plate 1793; and in: "Louis Comfort Tiffany at Tiffany & Co.," by John Loring, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2002, p. 238, "Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection," by David A. Hanks, Richard H. Driehaus, Richard H. Driehaus Museum, The Monacelli Press, LLC, 2013, p. 164 fig. 55
A Tiffany Studios New York Art Nouveau Favrile glass "gooseneck" vase of peacock glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. This vase, with its graceful neck, has blue, green, and violet throughout its body, with a small splash of yellow near the top. Peacock glass was achieved by combining five different types of glass, two of which were aventurine (glass with suspended gold particles). The "gooseneck" design is considered one of Tiffany''s most original and delicate forms, inspired by Persian rosewater sprinklers. Tiffany first became familiar with the rosewater sprinkler through his early mentorship by Edward C. Moore of Tiffany and Company. Moore was a dedicated collector of Oriental art and a significant influence on Tiffany''s aesthetic. Moore''s 16th-century Persian rosewater sprinkler is now on view at the Metrpolitan Museum of Art. According to folklore, Persian rosewater sprinklers were used as "containers for tears." The vessel, named ashkdan, was meant to collect the sorrows of wives separated from their husbands. The story goes that a husband who had to go away for a prolonged period on business, war, or pilgrimage to Mecca gave an ashkdan to his wife so that she could weep into it during his absence and consequently prove how unhappy she had been without him. Tiffany promoted his rosewater sprinklers by using them as props in his infamous Egyptian Fete. An Egyptian slave
girl, played by Tiffany''s friend Ethel Whitman, sprinkled rosewater to herald the entrance of Cleopatra. A similar vase is pictured in: "Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass," New York, 1964, pl. vii
A Tiffany Studios bronze "Marsh Marigold" planter, featuring a repeating pattern of marsh marigold leaves and vines around the gilt bronze base. The marsh marigold was included in one of the first four "Dragonfly" lamps made in April, 1899, entitled "Dragonfly and Water Flowers." The lamp was a collaboration between the female designers Clara Driscoll and Alice Carmen Gouvy. Gouvy, who would later design for the Metalwork and Enameling Department created this breathtaking naturalistic design. The planter has faint reddish enameling in the design to give the illusion of a fierce sunset peeking through a dense underbrush. The truly organic shape of the leaves featured is highlighted by the undulating modeling of their forms.Identical model planter pictured in "Louis C. Tiffany''s Glass - Bronzes - Lamps: A complete collector''s guide", by Robert Koch, page 224.
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