While flowers often took center stage at Tiffany Studios, the nasturtium is one of few flowers that was translated into designs for both leaded glass and blown glass.
One of the earliest Tiffany Lamp shades features nasturtiums creeping along a garden trellis, while the vibrant red flowers star in a spectacular series of Favrile Glass Paperweight vases dating from the early 20th century.
One of the most beloved types of Favrile Glass produced by Tiffany Studios is known as “Paperweight” glass. Drawing inspiration from popular mid-19th century glass paperweights, Tiffany’s “Paperweight” Favrile Glass sought to elevate the technique, encapsulating botanical forms in a glass environment with a focus on form, color and transparency. These evocative vases typically feature a naturalistic floral or foliate design achieved entirely in glass which is encased in a smooth outer layer of clear or tinted glass, allowing for unusual aesthetic effects - a testament to the skill of Tiffany’s glass workers.
The impressionistic “Paperweight” vases fused modern art with modern techniques. Paperweight vases were incredibly popular with Tiffany’s clientele, and examples of the type were frequently included in the company’s displays at World’s Fairs.
This painterly example features an all-over motif of striated orange nasturtium blossoms and nestled amongst swirling vines and deep green leaves, against a transparent golden background.
The interior of the vase is fumed, resulting in a glowing effect.
This rare Tiffany Paperweight Vase comes from a small but treasured series of Favrile Glass vases depicting the nasturtium flower against a vibrant blue background. This example, unusually large in scale for this particular group of vases, is also notable for its traditional baluster form, which is a departure from the more organic forms typically associated with Tiffany Glass.
A thick layer of clear glass encases an all-over decorative motif of vibrant red-orange nasturtium flowers and their signature round variegated green leaves, which swirl above the rich blue background. The interior of this vase was fumed - an iridescent layer was applied to the interior, which provides a glowing effect.
This rare and exceptional example of Tiffany Favrile Glass is inscribed on the underside.
Related example illustrated:
Martin Eidelberg, Tiffany Favrile Glass and the Quest of Beauty. Pg. 65, obj. 77.