Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites

Tiffany Lamps by Clara Driscoll & Louis Comfort Tiffany

Wisteria Table Lamp - Tiffany Lamp

Wisteria Table Lamp – Tiffany Lamp

A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with a glass shade made of glass designed by Tiffany & Co and its design teams. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement. 

Due to Tiffany’s dominant influence on the style, the term ‘Tiffany Lamp’ or ‘Tiffany style lamp’ has often been used to refer to stained leaded glass lamps, even those not made by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s company.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was a designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau.

Tiffany designed stained glass windows and lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels, and metalwork. He was the first Design Director at his family company, Tiffany & Co., founded by his father.

“The glass selection create different interpretations of the same design.”

Clara Driscoll was head of the Tiffany Studios Women’s Glass Cutting Department, known as the “Tiffany Girls” in New York City.

Using patterns created from the original designs, these women selected and cut the glass that was used to make these beautiful lamps.

Clara Driscoll designed more than thirty Tiffany lamps produced by Tiffany Studios, yet virtually nothing was known about Driscoll until quite recently.

It is now believed that Clara Driscoll and the “Tiffany Girls” created many of the Tiffany lamps initially attributed to Louis Comfort Tiffany and his male designers.

A Tour of Tiffany Lamps

  • Wisteria Table Lamp
  • Nasturtium Shade with Mosaic Turtleback Tile Base
  • Trumpet Creeper Shade with Mosaic and Turtleback Tile Base
  • Dogwood Shade with Chased Pod Floor Base
  • Magnolia Shade – Tiffany Lamp
  • Gourd Shade – Tiffany Lamp

Wisteria Table Lamp

This “Wisteria Table Lamp” is a Tiffany Lamp designed by Clara Driscoll in 1901. For the Tiffany design studio designers, the color was more important than proper form.

In many of the flower designed Tiffany Lamps, the form came secondary to the color esthetic, and in many examples, texture, and tone take precedence over botanical accuracy.

Wisteria proliferated Tiffany’s leaded glass windows, and the Wisteria lamp design was one of Tiffany’s most popular models.

Composed of nearly, 2,000 tiny pieces of glass, it was priced at $400 in 1906, the equivalent price adjusted for inflation, in today’s prices, would be over $10,000.

An original, made in the 1890s to 1930s by Tiffany Studios can be worth anywhere from $10,000 up to over $1 million. The most ever paid for an original was nearly 3 million dollars.

 Nasturtium Shade with Mosaic Turtleback Tile Base – Tiffany Lamp

Nasturtium Shade with Mosaic Turtleback Tile Base - Tiffany Lamp - www.joyofmuseums.com - New-York Historical Society

 Nasturtium Shade with Mosaic Turtleback Tile Base – Tiffany Lamp

This “Nasturtium Shade with Mosaic Turtleback Tile Base is a Tiffany Lamp, probably designed by Clara Driscoll in 1900 – 02.

The first Tiffany lamp was created around 1895. Each lamp was handmade by skilled craftsmen and women, not mass-produced.

Its designer was a previously unrecognized artist named Clara Driscoll, who was identified as the master designer behind the most creative and valuable leaded glass lamps produced by Tiffany Studios. Every lampshade is prepared by using the copper foil method as follows:

  • A pattern for the lampshade is drawn out on a  piece of heavy cardboard
  • A number and glass color is written on the pattern piece
  • The glass is laid over pattern and traced
  • The glass pieces are cut and ground to their shape
  • The glass pieces are cleaned, and copper foil is applied to the edges
  • A copper foil solution allows the parts to adhere together
  • After the lamp pieces are fully bonded, the edges are soldered
  • The lamp is then  cleaned and polished

Gourd Shade – Tiffany Lamp

Gourd Shade - Tiffany Lamp - www.joyofmuseums.com - New-York Historical Society

Gourd Shade – Tiffany Lamp

This “Gourd Shade” is a Tiffany Lamp created in 1900 -1902 is probably designed by Clara Driscoll and is one of only two in existence.

The designer portrayed flowers together with fruit and gourds of different varieties, all into a single pattern.

The root base of the lamp reflects the influence of Art Nouveau, and the mottled glass creatively represents the roughness of the gourd rind. 

They used the patterns created from Clara Driscoll’s original designs, to select and cut the glass to be used in the famous lamps.

Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 – 1933) was a designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass.

He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau. Tiffany designed stained glass windows and lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels, and metalwork.

He was the first Design Director at his family company, Tiffany & Co., founded by his father.

Magnolia Shade – Tiffany Lamp

Magnolia Shade – Tiffany Lamp

Magnolia Shade – Tiffany Lamp

This “Magnolia Shade and Chased Pod Floor Base” is a Clara Driscoll designed a Tiffany Lamp.

Tiffany & Co.

Today Tiffany & Co. is an American jewelry and specialty retailer headquartered in New York City. It was first founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany, together with partners in 1837 in Connecticut, as a stationery and fancy goods emporium. 

In 1853, Charles Tiffany took control and established the firm’s emphasis on jewelry and shortened the name to Tiffany & Company.

Unlike other stores at the time in the 1830s, Tiffany marked the prices on its goods to reduce haggling over prices.

Also, Tiffany only accepted cash payments and did not allow purchases on credit, which was against the norm at the time. Today Tiffany & Co is a public company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Key Tiffany & Co. Milestones

  • 1837 – Founded
  • 1845 – first Tiffany mail-order catalog was published
  • 1862 – during the US Civil War, Tiffany supplied the Union Army with swords, cavalry saber, flags, and surgical implements
  • 1867 – Tiffany was the first U.S. firm to win an excellence award in silverware at the Exposition Universelle in Paris
  • 1919 – Tiffany revised the Medal of Honor on behalf of the United States Department of the Navy
  • 1940 – Tiffany’s flagship store at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan, New York City.
  • 1978 – Tiffany & Co. was sold to Avon Products Inc.
  • 1984 – Avon sold Tiffany to an investor group
  • 1987 – Tiffany went public again as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dogwood Shade with Chased Pod Floor Base – Tiffany Lamp

Dogwood Shade with Chased Pod Floor Base - Tiffany Lamp - www.joyofmuseums.com - New-York Historical Society

Dogwood Shade with Chased Pod Floor Base – Tiffany Lamp

This “Dogwood Shade with Chased Pod Floor Base” is a Tiffany Lamp, probably designed by Clara Driscoll.

These Tiffany Lamp are all part of the New-York Historical Society collection of 132 lamps from the Dr. Egon Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass.

Clara Driscoll

Clara Driscoll (1861 – 1944) was head of the Tiffany Studios Women’s Glass Cutting Department, known as the “Tiffany Girls” in New York City.

Using patterns created from the original designs, these women selected and cut the glass to be used in the beautiful lamps.

Driscoll designed more than thirty Tiffany lamps produced by Tiffany Studios, yet almost nothing was known about Driscoll until recently.

It is now believed that Clara Driscoll and the “Tiffany Girls” created many of the Tiffany lamps initially attributed to Louis Comfort Tiffany and his staff of male designers.

Dogwood Shade – Tiffany Lamp

  • Title:                 Dogwood Shade – Tiffany Lamp
  • Base:                 Chased Pod Floor Base – Tiffany Lamp
  • Designer:         Probably Carla Driscoll
  • Year:                 1900 – 06
  • Museum:          New-York Historical Society

Trumpet Creeper Shade – Tiffany Lamp

Trumpet Creeper Shade - Tiffany Lamp

Trumpet Creeper Shade – Tiffany Lamp

This “Trumpet Creeper Shade” with “Mosaic and Turtleback Tile Base” is a Tiffany Lamp designed by Clara Driscoll. Most of Tiffany’s lamps can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Irregular borders – these lamps carry an openwork crown edge that helps to simulate a branch, tree, or shrubbery.
  • Favrile – meaning handcrafted, this term identifies the first lamps Tiffany made. His initials L.C.T. later replaced the Favrile stamp.
  • Geometric – the Geometric pattern was produced primarily by the male craftsman.
  • Transition to flowers – describe lamps that follow a botanical design using flowers, dragonflies, spiders with webs, butterflies, and peacock feathers.
  • Lamp shapes were designed as a cone and a globe.

“Trumpet Creeper Shade” – Tiffany Lamp

Clara Driscoll

  • Designer:          Clara Driscoll
  • Born:                1861 – Tallmadge, Ohio
  • Died:                1944 (aged 83) – New York City, New York, US

Louis Comfort Tiffany

  • Owner:               Louis Comfort Tiffany
  • Born:                 1848 – New York City, New York, US
  • Died:                 1933 (aged 84) – New York City, New York, US
  • Movements:      Art Nouveau and Aesthetic

A Tour of the New-York Historical Society

A Tour of New York Museums

Gallery of Tiffany Lamps

Tiffany Studios Wisteria Lamp

The Art of Deception: Tiffany Lamp Forgeries

~~~

“Color is to the eye what music is to the ear.”
―Louis Comfort Tiffany

~~~


Photo Credit: JOM

Popular this Week

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites - Virtual Tours
Rijksmuseum - Virtual Tour
Ancient Artifacts - Virtual Tour
"Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness" by Caravaggio
"The Martyr of Solway" by John Everett Millais
Prehistoric Petrosphere - Carved Stone Spheres and Balls
Mesopotamian Art and Artifacts - Virtual Tour
Quotes about Museums, Art and History
"The Stolen Kiss" by Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Wassily Kandinsky - Virtual Tour

SEARCH