This pastel bowl by Tiffany Favrile is wonderfully opalescent. Circa 1903, this piece has a ruffled rim and is mounted on a white opalescent base. The bowl is decorated with simple white radiating stripes ending in a rim of iridescent blue-green or aqua colour in an "onion skin" or crackle like finish.
Dimensions: Approximately 13 cm (5 in) diameter.
Condition: Excellent. No chips, cracks or repairs.
Signature: "L.C.T. Favrile 1871" script on the base.
Reference: This pattern is depicted in Moise Steeg's « Tiffany Favrile Art Glass » page 171 (see photo).
A Note About the Manufacturer:
Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was the creative genius son of a famous New York jeweller. His flamboyant sumptuous lifestyle and family connections with the artistic world in Europe and America, coupled with his talent and dedication, took him to a leading position in the Art Nouveau movement. Starting his career as a talented painter in the late 1860's, he traveled extensively overseas and at the age of 31 (in 1879) moved into interior design; from the mid-1880's onwards, he gradually specialized in glass.
Tiffany was greatly influenced by the glass he saw on his travels to Europe. Two major influences were the Art Nouveau glass being produced in France by Gallé and in Austria by Loetz; and the ancient Roman and Egyptian glass that was being excavated from North Africa and the Middle East at that time.
Tiffany was also influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain. Like others affected by this movement, he sought to combine his own artistic talent with the skills of artisans supported by automated machinery. The outcome, as with his great contemporaries in Europe (notably Lalique and Gallé) was a split output; on the one hand the master's own creations and on the other hand a large amount of "industrial" items made to his designs. In Tiffany's case these included most of his lamps and many small glass vessels.
Much of Tiffany's glass was branded "Favrile", from an old Saxon word meaning "hand wrought". For the glass enthusiast, Favrile is an ideal subject to collect since every piece is clearly marked on the base. Production of it began in 1883 and ended in 1930 when Mr. Tiffany at the age of 81 destroyed all the formulas for its making.
Today, of course, any piece of genuine Tiffany output is treasured and commands a relatively high price, and the museum-quality pieces reach astronomical figures at auction. Prices have been increasing steadily since the 1960's. Even at the time it was made, Tiffany glass was expensive and remained the prerogative of the very rich. Indeed, Tiffany himself took actions which kept the value of his glass pieces high. He donated examples of his work to all the major museums, and if one of his vases stayed too long on retailers' shelves, he recalled it.
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