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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Vase or Bottle, Iridescent Gold and Pink with Ivy Leaves
Date: ca. 1917
Medium: Glass
Dimensions: Height: 6 1/4 inches (15.9 cm)
Credit Line: Edythe de Lorenzi Collection
Bequest of Otto de Lorenzi
Object Number: 64.0875
This is a Tiffany vase or bottle made of iridescent gold and pink glass. Notice the vine pattern and heart shaped leaves on the surface.

Tiffany glass was made at the Tiffany Glass Furnaces in Corona, located in Queens, New York.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was the eldest son of Charles L. Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Company, the New York jeweler. Tiffany was trained as a painter, studying with both George Inness and Samuel Coleman in New York and Leon Bailly in Paris. He eventually turned his attention to decorative arts and began experimenting with glass-making techniques in 1875. After success with stained glass windows and mosaics, Tiffany established the Tiffany Glass Company in 1885 and began devoting production to one-of-a-kind blown glass art objects. He soon became one of America’s most prolific designers, providing furniture, wallcoverings, textiles, jewelry and glass to some of society’s most important citizens.

Like most Tiffany vases, this vase was created using a blowpipe. The iridescence of the glass was achieved by a process developed in the early 19th century in which metallic substances were either added to the batch when forming the vessel, or the surface of the vessel was coated with metallic oxides like stannous chloride or lead chloride before firing. Different oxides were known to produce different pigments.

This vase is an example of Tiffany’s Favrile glass. In 1894, Tiffany patented his iridescent glass under the name Favrile. The word Favrile is derived from the Old English fabrile, meaning hand-wrought. Tiffany design was inspired by glass from ancient Rome and the Islamic world, Venice and Bohemia. Tiffany combined his talent as a colorist, naturalist, and designer with his experimentations on blown glass surfaces. Vessels were fumed with metallic oxides to achieve iridescence. To see other examples of Tiffany’s Favrile glass in the Johnson Museum’s collection, search for object numbers 57.072, 57.080, 57.088, 57.097, 57.106, 64.0840, 64.0841, 64.0842, 64.0843, 64.0850, 64.0865, 64.0879, 64.0885, 64.0889, 64.0898, 64.0904, 99.078.118 a,b, and 2001.075.003 in the keyword search box.

The bulbous shape of this vase and the ivy decorations are typical of Tiffany’s Art Nouveau style objects. Art Nouveau, French for “New Art,” refers to an artistic style that was developed in Europe in the 1880s, and remained enormously popular into the first decade of the 20th century. It is characterized by whiplash curves, organic imagery and sinuous lines. The name Art Nouveau came from the Paris shop of Siegfried Bing that opened in 1895, quickly popularizing the works of artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose work became synonymous with (or symbolic of) the American Art Nouveau style.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.