Louis Comfort Tiffany
born established 1902
North America, American
79 1/4 in. x 19 1/4 in. (201.3 cm x 48.9 cm)
Medium and Support:
Leaded glass and bronze
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jackson L. Bostwick
This Art Nouveau-style lamp was created by Tiffany Studios sometime between 1902 and 1928. The shade is stamped "Tiffany Studios, New York 1515" on the inside rim and falls into the category of Tiffany's "Geometric" designs. Tiffany also had a highly successful business producing stained-glass windows which provided an inventory of highly distinctive sheets (or parts of sheets) of glass in a full constellation of both color and texture. The use of these glass "remainders" to make lampshades led to the creation of the product for which Tiffany is now probably best known.
Each shade was hand-constructed by one of the artisans in Tiffany Studios. The artisan was responsible for choosing the glass type and colors for the design, and then assembling the shade atop a wooden form. The arrangement of the individual pieces of glass was determined by a copper template that indicated the placement of each piece of glass. It took an artisan as much as a week's time to choose and cut the myriad pieces of glass needed for each shade, and more time was spent in assembly. The artisans needed a refined sense of color to balance the many subtle nuances imparted by glass of specific color and texture, as he or she cut and gathered hundreds of pieces for complex compositions. This lamp's base was a separate component. This base is one of the standard floor lamp bases that were made available to combine with a variety of shades.