Lot 210
  • 210

TIFFANY STUDIOS | "Birches and Irises" Landscape Window

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tiffany
  • "Birches and Irises" Landscape Window
  • signed TIFFANY STVDIOS with firm's monogram
  • leaded and acid-etched glass, plated on the reverse
  • 56 7/8  x 29 3/8  in. (144.5 x 74.6 cm)
  • circa 1910-1915


Christie's New York, June 14, 1986, lot 542
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Alastair Duncan, Tiffany Windows, New York, 1980, pp. 83, 95 and 176 (for related landscape windows featuring birches and irises)

Catalogue Note

The present lot is a superb example of the iconic landscape window by Tiffany Studios. The flowing water symbolizes the passage of life as it has in art for centuries, from medieval manuscripts to the Hudson River School.  Tiffany interpreted the subject in stained glass, with glowing skies representing sunrise or, more often, sunset, memorializing loved ones.  Here, a radiant sunset in fiery reds and yellows is tempered by the rich purple of oncoming night.  It is reflected in the deep blue-green water, with the distant indigo mountains on the horizon casting cobalt shadows. Layers of acid-etched blue, pink, and green glass was enhanced with yellow silver stain and layers of streaky white glass to achieve the intense colors and lifelike effect of distance and water in motion.

The spring-time foliage of irises and birch trees in the foreground suggests youth.  Blue irises in full bloom with flaming orange centers gather at the base of the trees around an open pathway to the water.  The iris was a favorite flower in Tiffany’s landscapes, depicted in surprising verisimilitude thanks to the textures and colors of his exceptional glass. 

It is the texture of the tree trunks that is truly distinctive in this window.  Created by acid-etching several layers of brown, blue, and yellow glass, one can almost feel the peeling bark and hear the gentle rustle of the spring-green leaves. The cylindrical shape of the trunks is produced by shadows and highlights etched into the glass.  Mottled glass forms dappled shadows on the leaves.  A profound sense of quiet and peace pervades the scene as a result of the masterful treatment of Tiffany’s justly famous glass.

Stained-Glass Consultant, North Adams, Massachusetts