Electric Light Shade

Made by Tiffany Studios, Corona, New York, 1902 - 1938

Made in Corona, New York, United States, North and Central America

c. 1910

Favrile glass

4 x 5 1/2 inches (10.2 x 14 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Shipley, Jr., 1966

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Louis Comfort Tiffany was born on February 18, 1848, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902) who was one of the founders of Tiffany and Company. Rather than enter the family silver and jewelry business, the younger Tiffany studied painting with George Inness (1825-1894) and then traveled to Europe and North Africa. Upon his return, he became a decorator before finally setting up his own glass and decorating firm in 1879.

Tiffany believed that nature should be the primary source of design inspiration and frequently experimented with new methods of glass manufacture to produce objects exhibiting a wide variety of color and texture. By 1893, after almost 20 years of experimenting, Tiffany had made significant progress in the development of his new medium, which he ultimately called favrile glass.

The word favrile derives from the old English word fabrile, meaning “pertaining to the craftsman or his craft”. Tiffany’s favrile glass is composed of various colors of glass fused together while still in the molten state, and the foundational technique developed by Tiffany was capable of a vast range of decorative effects. The term was trademarked by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in 1894.