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    

Small Antique Authentic Signed Lct Tiffany Favrile Art Glass Cabinet Vase, NrUnusually Rare Lecoultre 8 Day Clock Tiffany Studios Favrile Art Glass C. 1920'sPhilodendron Leaf & Vine Intaglio-cut 1905 Tiffany Favrile Tiffany Studios VaseL. C. Tiffany Favrile Iridescent Art Glass Vase W/ Acid-etched Floral DecorationSigned L. C. Tiffany Ribbed Floriform Favrile Iridescent Art Glass Vase, 1905Lct Favrile Liqueur Set | Tiffany Studios Decanter With Pinched Cordial GlassesTiffany Studios Gold Favrile Glass Urn - Signed Lct - Classic Shape - FavrilleAntique L.c. Tiffany Favrile Irediscent Art Glass Bowl. Leaf & Vine .no Reserve!Tiffany Studios Footed Master Salt - Blue Favrile Art Glass - Signed LctOld Lct Blue Iridescent Favrile Louis Comfort Tiffany Glass Bowl Lamp ColorAntique L.c. Tiffany Favrile Irediscent Art Glass Bowl. 10 Rib.no Reserve!1920's Tiffany Studios Pineneedle & Glass Bronze Thermometer New York 1013 Signed Tiffany Favrile Iridescent Art Glass CandlestickL.c.t. Favrile Compote - Diminutive Tiffany Studios Favrille Glass Dish - SignedL.c. Tiffany Favrile Cabinet Vase - Lct Favrille Grecian Urn - Tiffany StudiosEarly Tiffany Studios Pastel Vase - Lct Favrile Glass - Numbered Circa 1892-1893Antique Tiffany Art Glass - Compote - Signed Lc Tiffany Favrile 1702Antique Tiffany Studios Art Glass Bronze Desk Lamp Base Pine Cone Riviere ApolloTiffany 1004 Pen Rest/ Holder Green Slag/favrile Glass 9 By 2 3/4 InchesBrilliant Pair Of Baccarat Crystal "bambous Swirl" Candle Holders Tiffany & Co.Huge + Rare Tiffany & Co. Metropolis Art Deco Crystal Decanter Baccarat QualityTwo Tiffany & Co Crystal Swirl Champagne Wedding Toasting FlutesTiffany & Co. Josef Riedel 9.25" Crystal Bowl Previously OwnedSigned Tiffany Favrile Cypriot Art Glass Vase C.19052" Tiffany Studios L.c.t. Favrile Pinched Iridescent Art Glass Toothpick Holder$475 Tiffany & Co. Floral Vine Centerpeice Salad / Fruit Bowl In Handcut CrystalCeltic Stained Glass Window Panel Leaded Tiffany Style 20" X 34"4 Tiffany & Co "classic" (u-shaped Bowl) Crystal Brandy Snifters ~ Mint In BoxLovely 8 1/4" Tall Antique Arthur Nash Signed Iridescent Art Glass Vase #546Tiffany & Co. Crystal 2-piece Nite Set Carafe And Tumbler ~ Tfc53 ~ Mint In BoxVintage Tiffany & Co. Crystal Decanter,faceted Stopper,great Condition!Tiffany & Co Gorgeous Heavy Lead Crystal Starburst Rose Bowl Vase MarkedTiffany & Co. Swirl Candle Stick Holders Set Of Two Crystal 8 Inches TallTiffany & Co. Tauck World Discovery Map Porcelain Trinket Box France 2000Tiffany & Co Crystal 96 Oz. PitcherSet Of 2 Superb Tiffany & Co. 3 3/8" Rock Cut Crystal Votives Mint In BoxVaseline Steuben Pomona Green And Topaz Wine Glass Pairpoint Tiffany Durand Stunning Tiffany Style Art Glass Blue And White Vase Signed Elaine Hyde Tiffany Weave Set 3 Nesting Bowls Made In Ireland Exclusive For Tiffany And Co Tiffany & Co. Crystal Votive Set Brand New In Box (no Bow)Authentic Signed Tiffany & Co Crystal Art Glass Apple Paperwight Germany In BoxTwo Tiffany & Co Sybil Crystal Champagne Flutes New In Box 8 1/2"Tiffany & Co. Colbolt Blue VasePair Of Tiffany & Co.tealight Candle Holders Rock Cut Votive CandleholdersSet Of 5 Vintage Signed Tiffany & Co Ward Bennett Design Old Fashion Rocks GlassPair(2) Authentic Tiffany & Co. Crystal Martini Glasses 7 Inch Very Nice!!!Vintage Tiffany & Co Large Faceted Diamond Paperweight Vintage 1980's Tiffany & Co. Crystal Candle StickTiffany Blossom PitcherAuthentic Tiffany & Co. Altas Bowl (10 Inch)Tiffany Crystal Hampton 9" CandlesticksTiffany Glass Dolphin & Wave Pattern BowlTiffany & Co Crystal Clear Glass Vase 7 Inches Tall Signed Tiffany Crystal AppleTiffany & Co Porcelain Trinket Dish Box Made For City Of Miami Beach FloridaTiffany & Co. Crystal Dolphin Bowl 8" Mint ConditionTiffany & Co Crystal Vase 6"

Recent News: Tiffany Art Glass

Source: Google News

3 Days in…Orlando: Beyond the Theme Parks
Successful Meetings, July 1st

Sure it has seven of the world's top theme parks. But that's not all there is to Orlando. There are more than 100 other amazing attractions in the greater Orlando area. Add to that an eclectic dining scene, and this destination is ready for anything a...Read more

A Sale Two Years in the Making
Maine Antique Digest, July 1st

Well-known names in antiques collecting were scattered throughout: Joel Palmer, Tiffany, William Mountz, Samuel Plank, Hamilton & Jones, Parker Brothers, Henry W. Stiegel, etc. It is hard to ... Among the smalls were an 18" butter bowl in yellow ($550...Read more

Free admission as Morse Museum celebrates 20 years on Park Ave.
Orlando Sentinel, June 26th

Hosmer Morse's daughter; and "Selections from the Harry C. Sigman Gift of European and American Decorative Art," an informal preview of a recent donation that has further strengthened the museum's collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century...Read more

'Harry Potter' stage play to open in London in 2016
Boston.com, June 26th

Raise a glass of butterbeer in celebration: Harry Potter is coming to the stage! J.K. Rowling ... “It will tell a new story, which is the result of a collaboration between writer Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and myself,” Rowling wrote on Twitter...Read more

WITF TV Picks for the week of June 28
witf.org, June 26th

A 1915 Coca-Cola® jigsaw puzzle and an Emancipation Announcement print both gained value since 1998, but the big winner is a Tiffany aquamarine glass vase, which was originally appraised at $30,000 to $40,000 and is now valued between $90,000 and...Read more

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum launches exhibit exploring Space Age jewelry
Tribune-Review, June 25th

Jewelry in the Space Age,” a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Oakland, that brings together scientific fact and pop culture in a showcase of wearable and decorative arts related to space and the powerful influence it's had on...Read more

Arts Notes: Family Theatre Festival returns July 18
Contra Costa Times, June 25th

The Chevron Family Theatre Festival will return this summer to the Lesher Center for the Arts July 18 for the ninth annual event with exciting new performers and popular favorites. Presented by Chevron and produced by the Diablo Regional Arts...Read more

Trio of Artists Honored at St. Ann's Warehouse Fundraiser
Wall Street Journal, June 17th

“And aren't the acoustics amazing?” asked Ms. Feldman. St. Ann's presented Messrs. Hoggett, Tiffany and Walsh each with a glass brick reading “What are we, if we're not our stories?” The new Tobacco Warehouse has a roof extension made with glass bricks ...Read more