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 316. An Early "Lava" Vase.

Tiffany Studios

An Early "Lava" Vase

Auction Closed

June 7, 10:21 PM GMT


25,000 - 35,000 USD

Lot Details


Tiffany Studios

An Early "Lava" Vase

circa 1895

Favrile glass

with the firm’s paper label

4½ in. (11.4 cm) high

4¾ in. (12.1 cm) diameter

Ruth and Ray Suppes, Washington, D.C.
Greg Gluck
Christie’s New York, Magnificent Tiffany: The Gluck Collection, February 17, 1979, lot 81
Sander Davidson, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sotheby's New York, May 12, 1984, lot 311
Private Collection
Sotheby’s New York, May 18, 1985, lot 377
Ray and Lee Grover, Art Glass Nouveau, Vermont, 1967, p. 106, pl. 197 (for the present lot illustrated)
Alastair Duncan, Tiffany at Auction, New York, 1981, p. 36, fig. 82 (for the present lot illustrated)
Paul Doros, The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 2013, pp. 40 and 57 (for the present lot illustrated)

Precursor to Perfection: Early Favrile Glass

Tiffany’s skilled gaffers usually perfected various motifs and decorations, such as flower forms, “Paperweights” and cameos, within two to three years. What are known as Tiffany Studios’ "Lava" vases, with applied thick gold threadings over a textured navy ground, such as lot 317, took them over ten years to achieve. Not only was a highly choreographed and difficult routine among the six to eight glassworkers required in the production process, many of the pieces broke or cracked while annealing.

Some of the earliest pieces of Favrile were noteworthy for their textured surfaces: “Sometimes a piece which has had its surface roughened resembles those articles turned from lava which are offered to us at Naples, or else articles carved from obsidian.” These examples, such as the lot offered here, made circa 1895, was one of the glasshouse’s earliest attempts at a Lava-type vase. In addition to the trefoil rim, the dimpled body features rippled black sections having the texture of weathered leather, offset with glossy striated earth-toned portions and divided by striated blue streaks bordered in cream that seemingly erupt from the base. It is an extraordinary example and a precursor of the company’s future work.

- PD