An extremely rare and collectible Tiffany Studios New York "Leaf and Vine" Reactive Paperweight glass vase.The "leaf and vine" design was based upon the leaves of the bindweed vine. While closely related to the Tiffany''s beloved morning glory paperweights, Tiffany chose not to let the flowers of the bindweed distract from the intricate venation of the leaves. Employing the considerable technical acumen of his chemist Parker McIlhiney and the extraordinary technical skills of his main gaffer (or glass decorator), Leslie Nash, Tiffany experimented with every glass technique imaginable. In this vase, heat-sensitive ("reactive") glass was built up from a purple interior to an orange and green decorative motif of autumnal leaves and vines, finally encased in a transparent clear layer of glass, hence the "Paperweight" title. The remarkable thing about this vase is how the glass changes color in transmitted versus reflected light. Tiffany produced very few of these vases, none with such a brilliant color as in the present example, and all are distinguished by an "X" in the signature to reflect their "Experimental" nature.
A Tiffany Studios New York carved cameo "Leaf and Vine" paperweight vase. The "leaf and vine" design was based upon the leaves of the bindweed vine. While closely related to the Tiffany''s beloved morning glory paperweights, Tiffany chose not to let the flowers of the bindweed distract from the intricate venation of the bindweed leaves. The leaf and vine decoration was achieved with intarsia, or applying small purple glass forms while the bubble remained on the gaffer''s blowpipe. A major innovation in Tiffany''s work around 1900 involved the encasement of hot glass with an additional transparent layer, a technique associated with paperweights. The added layer of clear glass produced a three-dimensional effect, as though the plants existed in a lower level, beneath the surface. Most of Tiffany''s early "Paperweight" vases had a clear body with a gold iridescent core, adding to the poetic effect. This particular vase displays purple heart-shaped leaves with swirling vines against an iridescent translucent gold ground. The vines were then cameo cut in deep relief, giving the vase a spectacular three-dimensional effect. The difficulty of creating naturalistic imagery in hot glass should not be underestimated. The detailed representation of the leaves and stems makes this vase highly desirable.A similar vase is pictured in: Alastair Duncan, "Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection," Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 245
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