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210

Tiffany Studios

A Rare "Diatreta" Vase

Tiffany Studios

Tiffany Studios

A Rare "Diatreta" Vase

A Rare "Diatreta" Vase

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Tiffany Studios

A Rare "Diatreta" Vase


circa 1909

Favrile glass

engraved 5440D L.C. Tiffany-Favrile

6⅜ inches (16.2 cm) high

Overall in very good condition. This incredibly rare work exemplifies Tiffany’s technical mastery of the glass medium. When viewed firsthand, the inner vase displays a soft iridescent yellow and is decorated with subtle plume motifs while the outer lattice structure displays a soft mauve and gold iridescence. The dynamic form and structure of the vase creates myriad surfaces to reflect light, making the colors and iridescence present with particular richness and nuance. The glass with occasional minor air bubbles, particulate inclusions and surface irregularities which are inherent in the making and not visually distracting. The glass surfaces throughout with scattered, very fine and light surface scratches consistent with age and gentle handling. The rim with a small, stable hairline with associated minor loss measuring approximately ⅛ inch wide, possibly inherent in the making and not visually distracting. The upper surface of the foot behind the lattice with some surface soiling consistent with age. The interior of the vase with some minor scattered red spotting, inherent in the sprayed application of the iridescent surface treatment, not visually distracting, and with some light surface soiling. The underside of the vase is applied with a Doros Collection accession number. An extraordinary example of this innovative technique inspired by antiquity.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, February 9, 1979, lot 266
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass, New York, 1966, p. 177 (for a related example)
Robert Koch, Louis CTiffany: The Collected Works of Robert Koch, Atglen, PA, 2001, p. 108 (for a related example)
Paul Doros, The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2013, p. 207 (for the present lot illustrated)

Interpreting Antiquity –

The "Diatreta" Technique


Fourth Century Roman glassmakers are generally credited with creating the first diatreta objects, the term being derived from the Greek for “perforated.” Also known as cage cups, perhaps the finest example is the British Museum’s Lycurgus Cup. The exact technique for creating a highly-detailed carved outer cage attached by slender, short glass struts to the body of the vessel puzzled glassmakers and collectors for centuries. Louis C. Tiffany, as an advanced collector of ancient glass, was obviously aware of these rare and treasured creations. It is now believed that the ancient Romans used lapidary tools to create diatreta pieces. Tiffany’s glassworkers, however, had neither the knowledge, the time nor the expertise to replicate the exact technique. Their interpretation of the motif was accomplished by forming a diamond-shaped latticework, and then attaching it to the base and body of an object while still hot. These Favrile vases are exceptionally rare because of the great difficulty in attaching the latticework to the blown glass before the former collapsed. The present lot is the only known example with a decorated body.


- PD