A Tiffany Studios New York glass "Cypriote" vase, featuring a mottled and multi-textured lava-like finish, with an uneven border. The vase has a dark background with iridescent green, blue, purple and metallic swirls. Cypriote is a textured glass achieved at Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company by rolling glass over a marble or iron surface covered with pulverized bits of the same glass. Its iridescence and bubbles resembled the decomposed surface of Roman glass discovered during archeological explorations on the island of Cyprus, hence its name. Lava glass evolved from Cypriote glass by using thicker, brighter glass and dripping golden glass irregularly over the surface. A similar vase is pictured in: "The Art of Glass: Art Nouveau to Art Deco" by Victor Arwas, London: Andreas Papadakis, 1996, p. 40, plate 50.
An early and unusual Tiffany Favrile glass Cypriote vase. The rounded body of the vase is decorated near the tapered neck and near the foot with an iridescent swirling motif in richly saturated tones of gold and ochre, framing a series of central pointed oval "window" panels of textured "Cypriote" glass, resting on a small circular foot, signed on the underside. Cypriote is a textured glass achieved at Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company by rolling glass over a marble or iron surface covered with pulverized bits of the same glass. Its iridescence and bubbles resembled the decomposed surface of Roman glass discovered during archeological explorations on the island of Cyprus, hence its name. Lava glass evolved from Cypriote glass by using thicker, brighter glass and dripping golden glass irregularly over the surface. Tiffany created a unique numbering system for his artistic glass. Beginning in 1892, glassware was progressively signed 1-9999. The next series deployed an "A" as a prefix, making it easy to date this "E" prefix vase to 1896. Vases with prefixes of J, N and V have dates confirmed by international exhibitions, as do vases with suffixes of J and M. Vases from 1928, the last year of production were signed with a suffix "W". It appears that starting in 1906 each new year ushered in a new letter. While the diligence of the Tiffany Studios records cannot be veri
fied due to a catastrophic fire that closed the factory in 1928, if one follows the logic of the numbering system it is possible that as many as 490,000 artistic vases were produced at the Tiffany Studios New York from 1892-1928. A similar vase is pictured in:" The Tiffany Collection of the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk," by Paul E. Doros, Richmond, VA: W. M. Brown & son, Inc., 1978, p. 59, cat. no. 57; and in: "Timeless Beauty: The Art of Louis Comfort Tiffany," Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2016, p. 79.
An abstract figural "Lava" Favrile vase by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The cone shaped cylindrical vase features an upward spiral in gold metallic glass in high relief against a purplish-blue lava ground. Tiffany''s "Lava" glass was inspired by a trip to the Eastern Mediterranean, during which Tiffany visited Mount Etna in Sicily. The transformation of glass into volcanic "Lava" was achieved in the following manner: lustered glass was gathered on a blow pipe, rolled with chemical particles, and then worked in flame. The heat from the fire generated a reaction in which miniature basaltic-type craters and pitting formed on the surface of the glass, which was then coated with metallic lustered glass to create the purplish-blue ground imitative of lava. Next, free-form trails of glass were applied, each piece worked in a reduction flame (one starved of oxygen), and finally sprayed with metallic oxide. When a silvered finish fully developed it was sprayed with tin oxide and, depending on the artists, finished in blue, mauve, or gold tones. The production of Lava glass was the most risky of any Tiffany technique because it incorporated metallic oxides with different coefficients of expansion. When these were blended together during numerous high-temperature firings they created hazards for the annealing process that often flawed the pieces in their final moment of creation. The powerf
ul form of the vase and the clean articulation of the different metallic finishes make this piece incredibly rare.A similar vase is pictured in: The Tiffany Collection of the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk, by Paul E. Doros, Richmond, VA: W. M. Brown & son, Inc., 1978, p. 53, cat. no. 64.
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