Lot 335
  • 335

TIFFANY STUDIOS | Carved Cameo Paperweight Vase

25,000 - 35,000 USD
31,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany Studios
  • Carved Cameo Paperweight Vase
  • engraved L.C. Tiffany Favrile 7900C
  • favrile glass
  • 6 1/8  in. (15.6 cm) high
  • circa 1904-1906


Christie's New York, June 12, 1997, lot 88
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 49
Macklowe Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 245 (for the present lot illustrated)
Martin Eidelberg, Tiffany Favrile Glass and the Quest of Beauty, New York, 2007, p. 54 (for related examples)

Catalogue Note

Tiffany’s glasshouse frequently made vases with very similar, if not nearly identical, motifs and shapes.  Yet no two pieces of blown glass were exactly the same.  It was the nature of the craft that it was difficult to exactly replicate an object with a complex decoration.  More importantly, one of Tiffany’s major marketing claims was to impress upon the public that every piece was a unique work of art that was on a par with any painting or sculpture.  The exceptional piece offered here brilliantly substantiates that assertion. 

In basic appearance, it is similar to the reactive paperweight vase previously listed (lot 321) in that a leaf and vine decoration, also probably of reactive glass, was encased between two layers of glass.  That, however, is where the similarities end.  In this instance, the interior has a gold-orange iridescence.  Furthermore, the vase exhibits an inner glass layer that is not reactive and the outer layer is also somewhat thicker.  This latter feature permitted a glass cutter to create, once the object had cooled and annealed,  a cameo design that brings a superb three-dimensionality to each leaf and vine. 

This required exceptional delicacy on the part of the craftsman, who had to be careful not to go to deep and compromise the decoration, let alone shatter the vase during the process.  This was always a distinct possibility when carving Favrile glass, as it usually contained far less lead than glass used by other glasshouses.  Lead made the glass “softer” and better adapted to being cut, carved or engraved.  The vase survived, however, and is indicative of the incredible talents of the artisans employed by Louis C. Tiffany. 

—Paul Doros