When we think of American Art Nouveau art glass, the objects that first spring to mind are probably the leaded lamp shades and iridescent vases of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the famous jewelry designer, Tiffany studied painting with the great landscape painter George Inness; later, in Paris, he learned art glass techniques from the French master Emile Galle. These experiences informed Tiffany’s work at Louis C. Tiffany and Co., Associated Artists, which he established in 1879. The firm was renamed Tiffany Glass Co. in 1885, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Co. in 1892, and Tiffany Studios in 1900.

Another influence on Tiffany was ancient Greek and Roman glass, both the finishes and forms. Yet despite his focus on classic designs and naturalistic imagery, Tiffany was a technological innovator. Perhaps because he was a designer rather than an artisan, Tiffany worked and collaborated with some of the best thinkers, inventors, and craftsmen of his day. For his glass studio, Tiffany hired British chemist Arthur J. Nash, who remained with the firm until 1919; his son took it over in 1928.

The advent of electricity was also of keen interest to Tiffany. For an 1885 commission of sconces for the Lyceum Theatre in New York, Tiffany worked with Thomas A. Edison, who installed some of the electrical lighting himself. By 1906, Tiffany Studios was selling more than 400 models of electric and oil lamps and hanging shades.

Throughout, blown glass remained a preoccupation for Tiffany — it was, after all, why he had brought Nash to the firm in the first place. In order to have as much control on the process as possible, in 1893 Tiffany installed glass-blowing furnaces at his studio. A year later, with the help of Nash’s glass recipes, which Nash reportedly never revealed even to Tiffany, the Favrile brand was born.

Favrile glass was prized then, and is still admired today, for its eye-catching iridescent surfaces. The Favrile line included classic forms harking back to Tiffany’s fondness for all things ancient, as well as for new inventions like the paperweight vases, which are technical marvels that remain difficult for contemporary artists and artisans to duplicate to this day.

The paperweight vases are thick, making them a challenge to keep balanced on the end of a blow pipe, with a layer of decoration (usually flowers created from millefiori) sandwiched between clear layers of aqua-colored glass. A signed piece with no chips can bring tens of thousands of dollars at auction.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Tiffany’s love for leaded-glass windows and electrical lamps combined into a series of lamp shades on bronze bases. Despite being made of hard materials, the lamp shades seem to drip and drape over their light sources, in dense organic patterns resembling wisteria, apple blossoms, and other plants and trees...

After Tiffany’s death, his studios continued to produce stained glass windows for churches, but within a few years, as the Depression deepened, the studio closed (Tiffany never jumped on the Art Deco bandwagon). Today, Tiffany glass remains among the world’s most collected types of art glass, which has also made it a favorite of everyone from forgers to legitimate art-glass studios, many of whom have made names for themselves by producing historically accurate pieces in the 'Tiffany style.'

Key terms for Tiffany Art Glass:

Favrile: A technique for producing iridescent glass, patented by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1894, in which metallic and chemical compounds are applied to molten glass. Iridescence is achieved when air to the furnace is reduced, a process known as reduction, leaving only the metallic part of the compound on the surface of the glass.

Millefiori: An ancient glass technique, popularized in the 19th century, in which rods of fused glass are cut into cross sections to reveal patterns, frequently resembling flowers.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Neustadt Tiffany Collection

Neustadt Tiffany Collection

This stunning gallery of 138 Tiffany lamps and lampshades, part of the Dr. Egon Neustadt Collection presented by th… [read review or visit site]



This fabulous site is a guide to Bohemian art glass makers from 1885 to 1920. Loetz was the premier Bohemian glass … [read review or visit site]



This archived overview produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers thumbnail sketches of the design moveme… [read review or visit site]

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Chris and Val Stewart’s impressive attempt to create a complete catalogue of all known cloud glass, a decorative … [read review or visit site]

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

The heart of this website, home of the Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club, is the Identification Project, whe… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Tiffany & Co. 2001 Christmas Star Cut Crystal Glass Ornament W/ Box Bag & RibbonL.c.t. Tiffany Favrile Art Glass Gold Iridescent Flower Frog & Bowl Signed 2593mStained Glass Window Pane - Signed Louis C. Tiffany - GlassworksTiffany? Durand? Art Glass Vase, No Reserve Exquisite Antique Imari Cobalt Blue Tiffany & Co. Set Of 8 Dinner PlatesPairpoint Etched/cut Colias Pattern 11" Glass Vase Metal Lc Tiffany Favrile BaseStephen Correia Tiffany Style Art Glass Perfume BottleOriginal Tiffany Art Glass Bowl--gold Favrile(irridescent) Marked "lct"Tiffany Crystal Bowl By Elsa Peretti New In Box Venetian GlassGlassmasters: Tiffany: Wisteria From Laurel Hall Morse Museum 10x12 Inches Tiffany & Co. White Porcelain Dish Curled Up Sleeping Cat Trinket Box 1977 Louis C.tiffany Stained Glass Suncatcher - Signed Glassmasters - 1989 - Nice!Two Tiffany Beer Mugs And One Tiffany Paper Clip4 Tiffany & Co. "le Tallec" Limoges Plates - 8" Wide Bigouden PatternGlassmasters: Tiffany: Field Of Lilies Morse Museum 13x12 Inches Rare Tiffany Studios New York Pine Needle Bronze Slag Glass Pen TrayTiffany & Co. "tiffany Weave" Basketweave Bone China Tea Pot TeapotTiffany Cobalt Crystal Bowl By Elsa Pertti New In Box Venetian GlassEstate Find Tiffany & Co. One Million Carat Diamond Glass Paperweight LafoyesOriginal Tiffany Art Glass Bowl--gold Favrile(irridescent) Marked "lct"Tiffany & Co Blue Flowers On White Large Vase "tiffany Delft " Portugal 1996Signed Tiffany & Co. Bamboo Lattice Basket Weave 6-1/4" Crystal Glass Bowl Gorgeous Tiffany & Co Porcelain China Imari Design Gold Trimmed Vase With BoxEstate Find Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Blue Glass Paperweight LafoyesTiffany Style Peacock Panel W/ Chain For Window 15" Wide X 13" Tall (a9)4 Antique Booths China Tiffany & Co 9" Bird Plates ElegantTiffany & Co Crystal Beer Mugs - Set Of 4Pair Tiffany & Co Glass 9" Tall Candlesticks, Hampton Pattern, Acid Etched MarkTiffany & Co Porcelain China Imari Design Center Serving Rice Master Bowl W/goldVintage Tiffany & Co. Crystal Vase Etched Designed By Tiffany & Co.Valentine's Day Gift: Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti HeartTiffany & Co. Standing Angel - SignedTiffany & Co Hammered Design 10" & Harmony 11.75" Crystal Bowls Lot Of 2Tiffany & Co Porcelain Blue Star Trinket,vanity,jewelry Box W/gold TrimAuthentic Tiffany & Co. Crystal Fine Cut Art Glass Bud Vase With Tiffany Box NewTiffany & Co Elsa Peretti Blue Crystal Heart Box Valentine's Day AuthenticGorgeous Tiffany & Co Porcelain China Imari Pattern Plate W/gold Trim - In ExcelVintage 1970's Large Blue Square Tiffany & Co. Box - Used ConditionTiffany Glass Small Round Bud Vase JarTiffany & Co Ooak Stained Glass Starfish Sea Shell Suncatcher Panel Tiffany Style 9.5"x 9.5"Tiffany & Co. Rock-cut Crystal Bowl 6" In DiameterTiffany & Co Beautiful Crystal Candle Holder With Original BoxTiffany & Co Crystal "one Swirl" Votive Candle HolderTiffany & Company Optic Crystal Glass Pitcher Marked Tiffany, Made In EnglandEstate Find Tiffany & Co Asian Theme Design Ceramic Nut Dish Finger Bowl LafoyesHeavy Tiffany Co Crystal Extra Large Glass Barware Ice BucketTiffany & Co Square 8" Candy DishLouis Comfort Tiffany 8" Modern Glass Crystal Centerpiece Bowl -signed HallmarkTiffany & Company F L Wright Fdn 1986 Crystal Candle Stick HolderTiffany & Co Alphabet Bears Child's Ceramic Cup & Bowl Made In Japan 2006Tiffany & Co. Porcelain Lidded Box Imari Super Tiffany & Co. Minton's Gold Band W/laurel Condiment Dish & Saucer #s 8338Tiffany & Co. Asian Design Finger BowlCrystal Apple Paperweight Euc

Recent News: Tiffany Art Glass

Source: Google News

Phyllis Wilson Heiss
Marietta Times, January 28th

Phyllis had been employed at the museum at Fenton Art Glass for 10 years. ... grandchildren, Heather Torres (Juan), Stephen Wilson (Amy), John Wilson (Katrina), Justin Wilson (Sheree), and Dylan and Kylee Carl; step-grandchildren, Keith Huck (Amy...Read more

Rebecca Louise Law on Her Installation at the Viacom Building in Times Square
New York Times, January 28th

Hermès, Tiffany and Jo Malone, among other brands, have all commissioned Ms. Law, 34, to transform spaces. Last year at Art ... Once we take it down, I've been creating encased art pieces, putting the flowers in 4-meter-by-3-meter glass boxes. They're...Read more

Colors in the Cold: Abstract Art and Sculpture Highlight Clarke on Feb. 8th
ArtfixDaily, January 28th

A Pair of Marionette Albert bronze Art Nouveau lamps at $800/$1000 will begin the lighting selection of decorative arts, and a Tiffany & Co. Mantle Clock estimated $1,000/$1,500 will also be auctioned in the category. Galle and Daum glass lots...Read more

St. Ann's Warehouse Extends LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
Broadway World, January 28th

After Black Watch, Tiffany and Hoggett went on to create together the Broadway hits The Glass Menagerie and Once (with writer and frequent St. Ann's artist, Enda Walsh), as well as several successful Broadway and opera productions individually...Read more

DHS presents 'Chateau La Roach' this week
State Gazette, January 27th

For more information, contact Theatre Arts Instructor Chris Solmon, 731-286-3630. ... Crew members are: MK Alford, Alexis Aufdenkamp, Lydia Bahl, Madison Bailey, Libby Barch, Demerious Bell, Emily Bernier, Michaella Brock, Kamere Brown, Shae Burrell...Read more

'Let the Right One In,' a Romeo & Ghouliet romance
New York Daily News, January 25th

The show, adapted faithfully by Jack Thorne, marks a collaboration between director John Tiffany and movement specialist Steven Hoggett. They've teamed up before for ... They recently did the Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie.” Like the...Read more

'Let the Right One In' Comes to Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse
Wall Street Journal, January 23rd

Decades before the theater director John Tiffany and choreographer Steven Hoggett created internationally acclaimed productions of “Once,” “Black Watch” and “The Glass Menagerie,” they met as 14-year-old choirboys in Huddersfield, England. The longtime...Read more

Theater Listings for Jan. 23-29
New York Times, January 22nd

A hit in London, this tale of supernatural teenage love from the National Theater of Scotland is directed by John Tiffany, with associate direction and movement direction by Steven Hoggett. .... 'A Delicate Balance' Though embodied by the stellar likes...Read more