Tiffany & Company ( American, 1837 )

more object details

General Description

Between its founding in 1879 and the Depression, Tiffany Studios of New York City was the foremost decorating firm in America. As part of its activities, the firm designed and produced a wide range of objects in the media of silver, ceramics, and glass.

Before World War I, the majority of Tiffany Studio's work was in the Art Nouveau and Oriental tastes. By the 1910s, American design was moving away from the undulating curves of Art Nouveau and towards the clean lines of "Arte Moderne" under the leadership of master designers like Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928, Glasgow), Joseph Hoffmann (1870-1956, Vienna), and Georg Jensen (1866-1935, Copenhagen). In response to this new impulse, American products became simpler, more streamlined. Dated 1918, the metallic blue surface and classic outline of this favrile glass vase reveal the dawn of Art Deco.

Tiffany noted that his glass "is distinguished by brilliant or deeply toned colors, usually iridescent like the wings of certain American butterflies, the necks of pigeons and peacocks, the wing covers of various beetles." The iridescent effect was obtained though the vapors of metallic oxides interacting with the surface of the hot glass.

Adapted from

Charles Venable, DMA unpublished material, 1988.