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231

Tiffany Studios

"Aquamarine" Vase

Tiffany Studios

Tiffany Studios

"Aquamarine" Vase

"Aquamarine" Vase

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Tiffany Studios

"Aquamarine" Vase


circa 1915

Favrile glass

engraved 5394M L.C. Tiffany Inc.-Favrile Exhibition Piece (partially effaced)

11⅝ inches (29.5 cm) high

Overall in very good condition. When viewed firsthand, the aquatic effect of the glass can be truly appreciated. The technique perfectly emulates the experience of observing an object in water: the volume of the water dynamically distorts, conceals, and reveals aspects of the object as the observer’s viewpoint changes. From a higher vantage, the flower can be seen with clarity; from a lower vantage, the seaweed vines come into view. This dynamic visual effect enhances the naturalism of the work. The slightly green transparent glass contrasts nicely with the frosted neck, which is iridized on the interior. The carved ripple detail at the base of the neck further promotes the aquatic effect. 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, with some slightly more pronounced surface scratches occurring around the widest point of the lower globe. The interior of the neck with some very minor trapped debris particles, not visually distracting and only visible upon close inspection. The underside of the vase is applied with a Doros Collection accession number. An extraordinarily sculptural and naturalistic work that is a superb example of the Aquamarine technique.


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.

Gladys Koch, 1981
Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass, New York, 1966, p. 18 (for the present lot illustrated)
Ray and Lee Grover, Art Glass Nouveau, Rutland, VT, 1967, p. 99, pl. 183 (for a related example numbered 5399M)
Hugh McKean, The “Lost” Treasures of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1980, p. 162, fig. 156 (for the above mentioned related example)
Paul Doros, The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2013, p. 152 (for the present lot illustrated)

Aquatic Visions –

The "Aquamarine" Technique


“Aquamarine” glass was one of the last innovations introduced by Tiffany Furnaces. Louis C. Tiffany was fascinated by water: he sailed a small sloop outside Oyster Bay, designed and produced several large fountains, and even had a small stream traverse the interior of his Laurelton Hall mansion. It is therefore not surprising that he desired a type of glassware that directly reflected his affinity for water.


In July 1913, Tiffany sent Arthur E. Saunders, one of his gaffers, to Bermuda to examine the marine life and vegetation in the surrounding tropical waters from a glass-bottomed boat. The intent was for Saunders to replicate, in glass, what he saw when he returned to Corona. The final result, after a surprisingly short period of experimentation, were “Aquamarine” vases that met with immediate critical success. Featuring thick, heavy bodies of transparent green-tinted glass encasing a highly naturalistic motif, the pieces were highlighted in magazine articles and Tiffany & Company’s Blue Book from 1914 to 1917, priced as high as $300. This exorbitant price was an indicator of how exceptionally difficult it was for the glasshouse to produce these objects, some of which weighed as much as 25 pounds. And even after the gaffer had successfully finished his role, many examples shattered and broke while being annealed.


The example offered here is likely from a group of “Aquamarine” vases Tiffany Studios exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco. A large, yellow-centered water lily, surrounded by olive-green foliage, is situated in the center of the spherical body of thick transparent green-tinted glass. The underwater effect is further heightened with a small trapped air bubble placed above each petal and the finely engraved waves on the lower half of the neck’s exterior, an enhancement unique to this vase.


- PD