The Doros Collection: The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany

The Doros Collection: The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 220. Covered "Indian Pipe" Vase.

Tiffany Studios

Covered "Indian Pipe" Vase

Auction Closed

December 8, 12:14 AM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


Tiffany Studios

Covered "Indian Pipe" Vase

circa 1900

enameled copper

impressed S1161 with the firm’s paper label

6½ inches (16.5 cm) high

7 inches (17.8 cm) diameter

Leslie H. Nash, New York
Christie’s New York, December 14, 1985, lot 329
Walther Gensel, “Tiffany-Glaser auf der Pariser Welt-Ausstellung 1900,” Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, vol. 7, 1900, p. 91 (for the present lot illustrated at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900)
W. Fredwein, “Glas und Keramik auf der Parisier WeltAustellung,” Kunst und Kunsthandwerk, vol. 3, January 1900, p. 379 (for the present lot illustrated)
Gardner Teall, "Artistic American Wares at Expositions," Brush and Pencil, vol. 6, July 1900, p. 180 (for the above mentioned illustration from the Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900)
Roger Marx, La Decoration et les Industries a l’Exposition Universelle de 1900, 1901, p. 105 (for the present lot illustrated)
Janet Zapata, The Jewelry and Enamels of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1993, p. 69 (for the present lot illustrated)
Alastair Duncan, The Paris Salons 1895-1914, Volume IV, Ceramics and Glass, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1996, p. 445 (for the present lot illustrated)
John Loring, Louis Comfort Tiffany at Tiffany & Co., New York, 2002, pp. 94-95 (for the present lot illustrated)
Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 404 (for the above mentioned illustration from the Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900)

Tiffany’s Glass Evolution –

Enameled Works

The Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company’s exhibition at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle was a landmark event for the firm, cementing its reputation as one of the world’s preeminent manufacturers of artistic objects. Articles encompassing the full gamut of the company’s production, ranging from blown glass vases to mosaic panels to leaded glass windows, were displayed. Perhaps, however, no group of objects garnered more attention, and critical acclaim, than their new line of enameled pieces. 

Louis C. Tiffany was fascinated with glass as an artistic medium and enamel, which is essentially powdered glass fused onto a metal body, was a natural decorative technique for him to explore. He was assisted in this exploration by his chief chemist, Dr. Parker McIlhiney, and four of the “Tiffany Girls”: Alice Gouvy, Julia Munson, Lillian Palmié and Patricia Gay. Together, they developed an iridescent enamel and, more significantly, a translucent enamel that allowed hints of the copper body to be seen through the enamel. Furthermore, many of the pieces employed repoussé, which added to the three-dimensionality of the design. 

This covered vase, with its unique motif of an Indian pipe plant, was one of the first pieces of enamel created by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company and was featured in the firm’s display at the Paris Exposition. It was immediately noticed by contemporary art critics. One reviewer of the exposition mentioned “a metal jar…bears a unique ‘Indian pipe’ design in enamel, applied in a novel manner.” Another wrote “a fifth case contains a remarkable collection of enamels on metal, in which the designs are, as is proper, more naturalistic, several of them being drawn from America wild flowers, such as the Indian pipe…” The piece offered here is an exquisite and historically important example of the firm’s finest work in the medium.

- PD