Furniture & Decorative Arts

Tiffany Pastel Glass

NEW YORK, NY -- During the peak of art glass manufacture in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Tiffany Furnaces produced tens of thousands of pieces of blown glass per year. From its founding in 1892 until 1900, the firm focused on experimental decorations and forms, driving the glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany to the forefront of art glass production at the turn of the 20th century with his innovative iridescence recalling designs from nature and ancient glass.

Tiffany retired from the company in 1919 to focus on the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation at Laurelton Hall, which encouraged young artists to embrace nature in their artwork. He passed the company to two members of the Nash family of glassworkers in 1920. Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. was formed and headed by A. Douglas Nash.

In the 1920s, the trends in art glass followed the pace of progressive styles of the day, including more conservative and historicizing forms and decorations. Tiffany Furnaces introduced its line of pastel colored favrile vessels that that were quite a contrast from the vibrant gold iridescence or the deep cool colors that were popular during the Art Nouveau movement. The depression took hold of many businesses, and in 1931 Tiffany Furnaces closed for good. Two years later, Louis Comfort Tiffany passed away.

Pastel glass was referred to as “flashed glass” in Albert Christian Revi’s book, American Art Nouveau Glass, published in 1968, because of the heat treatment the glassware received. Opaque white colored glass was combined with pretty pastel colors such as pink, lavender, sea foam green, blue or yellow. These pieces included only a thin iridescence on the rims or even stems of vessels. The glass was often cased in an opalescent heat sensitive glass with color. Reheating resulted in an opalescent and milky-white color, and heat treating the pieces allowed the possibility of highlights such as stripes, zigzags and other patterns in contrasting pastels and white.

At the time of its original manufacture, the pastel line of glassware was seen as more commercial and utilitarian, because the company was producing tablewares and decorative items, such as cups, saucers, plates, various drinking vessels, serving pieces, candlesticks, etc. Gone were the asymmetrical and multicolored pieces, and instead conservative and classical shapes were reintroduced. Some unique shapes included the wedding ring, as exemplified by Lot 496, a pair of candlesticks in the December 5 Doyle at Home auction. Numbers engraved on the underside, for example, 1850 engraved on the candlesticks, refer to the shapes of the vessels, which are also usually signed with L.C.T. or L.C. Tiffany—Favrile.

Lot 496 in the upcoming sale represents a classic Tiffany pastel favrile glass example. Today, collectors covet unique pieces for their attractive colors, shapes, and patterns. This fall, collector Gordon Hancock of Long Island exhibited his large personal collection of Tiffany pastel glass at the Nassau County Museum of Art on Long Island. Tiffany Pastel glass can also be found in museum collections such as The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

Doyle at Home

Auction Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 10am
Exhibition Dec 1 - 3

Lot 496
Pair of Tiffany Pastel and Opalescent Favrile Glass Candlesticks
Circa 1920-4
Each signed L.C.T. Favrile 1850, one with original factory paper label
Height 6 3/4 inches
From the Estate of Marianne Schaller
Estimate: $1,500-2,500
View Lot

Portrait of specialist Leigh Kendrick
Client Relationship Manager / Cataloguer, American Furniture & Decorative Arts
Furniture & Decorative Arts
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