Vase, iridescent glass
Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 - 1933), 1896-1900
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague
This vase with its sumptuous matte gold lustre was produced in the workshop of the American glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, best known for the multi-coloured glass lamps bearing his name.
Tiffany was fascinated by the unusual way in which glass weathered. He collected antique glass objects because he wanted to reproduce their colourful lustrous finish. After much experimenting he finally succeeded in imitating this so-called iridising process.
By exposing heated glass to acidic fumes he could make all sorts of colour appear, as if by magic. He patented this method in 1894 and called his invention Favrile glass. This is a corruption of the old English word fabrile, which means handcrafted.