This example is a fake that shows how a pretty art glass piece made by a contemporary artist can quickly be made to seem to be something it is not by simply adding a name on the bottom as false as the integrity of the person who etched it there. This piece was not created by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the early 1900's. Since it was not, then it also cannot be genuine Favrile glass, a type of glass created and sold only by Tiffany Studios.
The Tiffany name is well known and respected. Even the non-Tiffany art glass or paperweight collection oriented consumer might feel encouraged to invest a good sum of money in an item marked with the Tiffany name. Fakers know this. They count on it being true. When presented with an item like this ask yourself whether or not your own name might be etched on the bottom with a simple motorized tool available at most hardware stores. If the answer to the question is yes, then someone could just as easily have done the same with Tiffany's name. And just as your name on an item wouldn't mean it was made by you, the 'L.C. Tiffany' shakily scratched on the bottom of this item is no guarantee it was made by him.
When it comes to objects supposedly made by such a well known maker, don't look at the mark, look at the item. This can sometimes be difficult to do if initial excitement at being presented with the opportunity to own a Tiffany Studios glass work clouds your judgment. Fakers count on this, too. Yes, authentic L.C. Tiffany items are out there and many fine and trustworthy dealers sell them. But, is this one of them? You have to ask that question and then look at the item, only, not the name.
Characteristics about this item say, no, it was not made by Tiffany, and you don't necessarily have to be an expert authenticator of Tiffany Studios glass to see why if just a little extra time is taken to carefully examine the piece.
1. The pontil mark is not right for Tiffany. The pontil mark is a rough area in the center of the base of a blown glass piece where a rod was attached when the glass was being worked at creation. Although on occasion a pontil mark on some types of items were left unpolished, Tiffany pieces almost invariably will have a finely polished single round pontil mark, or a center button pontil created by adding a glass wafer to hide underlying roughness. On the piece in this listing we see a strange grouping of several marks smoothed barely enough to remove remaining sharpness.
2. The surface decoration is pretty, but thickly applied and rather lifeless. The iridescence also seems heavy, not of Tiffany Favrile quality, where iridescence was like the sheen of a butterfly's wing.
3. In the picture of the base it seems an attempt was made to crop away the outside edges of the foot of the vase, but what can still be seen of that area looks very smooth and unworn. This is a characteristic of new glass, not old.
4. Finally, if you are looking at a Tiffany marked piece and insist on considering the signature, it helps to know the signature they placed on the majority of their art glass pieces was etched counter-clockwise on the base. This means it will be under the pontil mark, oriented from left to right. On this glass item, it was applied over the pontil mark moving in a clockwise direction.
Don't let a false L.C. Tiffany Favrile marked item enter your collection as an example you'll keep later to remind you of an 'expensive lesson.' Save the money in your collecting budget for the real thing.
Measures 9 1/2 inches tall.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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