Lot 334
  • 334

TIFFANY STUDIOS | Flower Form Vase

30,000 - 50,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany Studios
  • Flower Form Vase
  • engraved L.C.T. T5416
  • favrile glass
  • 15 3/4  in. (40 cm) high
  • circa 1900


Louis C. Tiffany Garden Museum, Japan
Michaan’s Auctions, Alameda, California, Treasures of Louis C. Tiffany from the Garden Museum, Japan, November 17, 2012, lot 94
Lillian Nassau, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., September 29, 1989-March 4, 1990, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, April 12-September 9, 1990, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum, Tokyo, Japan, January 12-March 17, 1991, Kobe City Museum, Kobe, Japan, April 6-May 12, 1991, Toyama Citizens Plaza, Toyama, Japan, June 30-July 26, 1991


Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, pp. 222-223 (for related examples) and 225 (for the present lot illustrated)
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall: An Artist's Country Estate, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006, p. 120 (for related examples)

Catalogue Note

The Stourbridge Glass Company, Louis C. Tiffany’s initial glasshouse in Corona, New York, began creating sheet glass for leaded glass windows in 1893 and objects of blown glass quickly followed towards the end of that year.  Art glass was growing increasingly popular in the United States and Tiffany, always a shrewd marketer, wanted to take advantage of this trend.  This only became feasible with Arthur J. Nash’s appointment as the glasshouse’s superintendent.  Nash, trained in England, was well versed in glassmaking formulas and techniques and was equally aware of current European artistic glassware. 

One of the earliest recognizable blown glass objects produced by the glasshouse was the flower form.  First appearing at an 1894 exhibition held at the company’s New York City showroom, these initial efforts were relatively crude, usually consisting of a variegated and swirled glass bowl supported on a thick, sometimes twisted, stem raised on an applied flat circular foot.  Many were given a matte acid finish and the stems were occasionally augmented with slender threads of colored glass extending to the bowl.

Thomas Manderson, an expert glassblower and one of the company’s gaffers, is generally credited with developing the flower form motif.  He quickly improved his skills and a multitude of highly refined shapes and decorations were produced after a remarkably short time span.  While based on actual flowers, Manderson was given the freedom to interpret the form in a multitude of styles.  Sigfried Bing, in 1899, wrote: “And in the artist’s hands, there grew vegetable, fruit and flower forms, all which, while not copied from Nature in a servile manner, gave one the impression of real growth and life.”

The striking flower form vase offered here, made around 1902, exhibits all of the finest qualities of the model.  The ribbed and domed circular foot, heavily iridized in gold, supports a slender stem with a lower knop and enhanced with fine white and green threading.  This threading extends to the large ruffled and undulating bowl that has an interior crackled gold and orange iridescence, forming short green leaves and taller white petals.  Unusual decorative additions are the shorter slender white sections representing the flower’s stamen.  This vase is a superior example of the model and superbly demonstrates Manderson’s incredible glassmaking talents.

—Paul Doros