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207

Tiffany Studios

Carved "Dogwood" Paperweight Vase

Tiffany Studios

Tiffany Studios

Carved "Dogwood" Paperweight Vase

Carved "Dogwood" Paperweight Vase

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Tiffany Studios

Carved "Dogwood" Paperweight Vase


circa 1900

Favrile glass

engraved L.C.T. Ex

3¾ inches (9.5 cm) high

Overall in very good condition. When viewed firsthand, the vase displays a vibrant lime green ground with kelly green leaves and creamy white dogwood blossoms. The carved detailing over the surface imparts a sculptural quality to the work. 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 interior of the vase is applied with rich blue iridescence. The underside of the vase is applied with a Doros Collection accession number. A very charming work with bright coloration and elegant carving, which highlights the thickness of the paperweight glass.


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.

Arthur J. Nash, New York
Leslie H. Nash, New York
John J. Nash, New York
Sotheby’s New York, November 19, 1983, lot 675
John and Katsy Mecom, Houston
Sotheby’s New York, October 3, 1992, lot 377
Martin Eidelberg and Nancy McClelland, Behind the Scenes of Tiffany Glassmaking: The Nash Notebooks, New York, 2001, p. 85 (for a period photograph of the present lot)
Paul Doros, The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2013, p. 138 (for the present lot illustrated)
Paris Salon, 1900

This lot is accompanied by a photograph of the lot formerly belonging to and inscribed by Leslie Nash.


The Ideal Medium –

The "Paperweight" Technique


My parents avidly collected every type of object produced by Louis C. Tiffany’s numerous firms. My father, however, had a specific obsession which he frequently expressed: “You can never have enough paperweights!” He loved the technique and the incredible variety of decorative designs, always adding another example to the collection whenever possible.


Tiffany’s glasshouse never made what are considered to be traditional paperweights: hemispherical domes of thick, transparent glass encasing a design created with torchwork or millefiori. What are today known as the company’s paperweight-technique vases, however, frequently did employ millefiori encased between two relatively thin layers of clear glass and were an ideal medium to express Tiffany’s love of botany.


First developed around 1900, the glasshouse’s early attempts at paperweight vases were relatively crude and display the gaffers’ obvious problems with mastering the technique. The millefiori flowers were simple, poorly formed and indistinct, and many pieces have interior threads and inclusions that are visually distracting. However, the craftsmen perfected their skills within five years and paperweight vases of great beauty were produced by the company into the 1920s.


The group of paperweight vases offered here explicitly exhibits the artistic mastery and superior talents of Tiffany’s gaffers, of which there were less than a dozen in the glasshouse’s entire history. The “Dogwood” Vase (lot 207) of thick transparent glass, with carved ribs on the exterior, an interior gold iridescence and encasing pendant dogwood blossoms, is from the initial stage of paperweight production. The dogwood flower, with its simple and immediately recognizable form, was an intelligent choice of subject as the gaffers labored to refine their skills in employing this complex technique before attempting more elaborate blossoms, as seen in lot 208. The company, however, fully realized the importance of the vase and, according to Arthur Nash, it was displayed at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle


The “Millefiori” Bowl (lot 208), with a thick eight-lobed base and made 15 years later, exhibits the technique at its finest. The transparent body, with a heavy gold-orange interior iridescence, encases beautifully formed large millefiori blossoms amid vivid green foliage, some of it continuing down to the transparent base. The piece has a special inscription signifying it as an exhibition piece and was likely part of Tiffany’s display at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The subtle texture on the rim gives fascinating insight into the making process and the inherent risk of attempting a work as ambitious as this. The marks on one side of the rim were created when the gaffer cut off the top of the glass bubble with his scissors and failed to have them smoothed out sufficiently in the glory hole, perhaps not wanting to risk any damage to this masterwork. Tiffany, however, embraced these types of minor imperfections, even selling cracked pieces, and encouraged his glassmakers to ignore what most companies would consider as flaws. This attitude ensured that each blown glass object was unique, a point the company frequently mentioned in its advertising. More importantly, all that truly mattered to Tiffany was the aesthetic appeal of the final product.


- PD