Lot 229
  • 229

Tiffany Studios

60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany Studios
  • An Important and Rare "Morning Glory" Paperweight Exhibition Vase
  • engraved 2912K L. C. Tiffany-Favrile/Award Paris Salon 1915
  • favrile glass
  • 7 1/2  in. (19.1 cm) high


Sotheby's New York, December 6, 1997, lot 510
Private Collection
Sotheby's New York, June 13, 2012, lot 6
Acquired from the above by the present owner


La Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1915


Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, pp. 258 (for related examples and the original 1913 watercolor "Morning Glories") and 548 (for a period photograph showing "Morning Glory" vases at the 1914 Paris Salon)
Martin Eidelberg, Tiffany Favrile Glass and the Quest for Beauty, New York, 2007, p. 68 (for related examples)

Catalogue Note

This iconic design first appeared in late 1913 when Tiffany Furnaces decided to create paperweight-technique vases using transparent glass, but without an interior iridescence. This new design philosophy permitted the flowers to be the primary focal point, and the transparency of the glass added a greater three-dimensional aspect to the internal decoration.

According to Leslie Nash, who was the son of the glasshouse’s superintendent, Arthur Nash, the company was experimenting with special formulas for several reactive types of glass with a high silver content that changed colors when struck with heat. Louis Tiffany, aware of these experiments, came to Tiffany Furnaces one Monday in October 1913 with a watercolor of morning glories he had recently painted. He showed the painting to Arthur Nash and insisted the glasshouse reproduce his painting in glass. After numerous failures, the gaffers finally succeeded by using five different types of reactive glass. Leslie Nash claimed the company spent $12,000 in materials and labor by the time the first successful “Morning Glory” paperweight vase was created. For this reason, they were priced at no less than $1,000 each.

The model was first shown to the public at the 1914 Paris Salon and this lot, exhibited at the Paris Salon the following year, displays a subtle, yet interesting departure. The transparent glass still encases a beautiful design of morning glories, in various shades of violet, purple, blue and cream, and wonderfully artistic vines and leaves in multiple tones of green and brown. This example, however, has a light silver iridescence on the interior, creating a highly attractive and evocative effect and is again evidence of the continual experimentation within the glasshouse.

PAUL DOROS, former curator of glass at the Chrysler Museum (Norfolk, Virginia) and author of The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany (New York: Vendome Press), 2013