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Tiffany Studios
Grape Enameled Covered Box

Tiffany Studios Grape Enameled Covered Box 1
Tiffany Studios Grape Enameled Covered Box 1
American, circa 1906
Height: 5 inches (12.7 cm)
Diameter: 6 ½ inches (16.5 cm)

This rare enamel on copper covered box exemplifies the artistry achieved Tiffany Studios in the medium, achieved by uniting the artistic visions of Louis Comfort Tiffany, glass chemist Arthur Nash, and the young women who designed many of the objects produced by Tiffany’s highly specialized Pottery & Enamel Department.

Louis Comfort Tiffany first exhibited designs in enamel on copper at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, where Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company’s display was awarded twenty-four awards, including a Grand Prix. Just one year later, at the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, Tiffany was again awarded a Grand Prix, in this instance specifically for the enamel on copper designs.

Tiffany Studios first exhibited the Grape Box in enamel in the Spring of 1906 at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français and Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Period photographs indicate that Tiffany displayed the Grape box alongside some of his most important and innovative pieces, including several fine examples of Favrile Pottery and Favrile Glass in addition to two of his most important pieces of jewelry, the Peacock Necklace (now in the permanent collection of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art) as well as the recently rediscovered Medusa pendant.

In this example of the Grape Box, the luminous quality of Tiffany Studios’ enamels is evident. Against a dark iridescent ground, the rounded grapes in variegated shades of purple stand out in relief; the translucent enamel used to articulate the grapes allows the copper to reflect light, enhancing the three-dimensional effect and further contrasting with the more opaque background. The vibrant green of the broad grape leaves and deep red of the sculptural coiling vines further enhance the realism of the motif.

The naturalistic grapes on this vase was likely based on a series of still life sketches by one of the Tiffany Girls working in the Enamel studio, which was the typical practice of the designers working in a rare department at Tiffany known for their relative artistic freedom.

Tiffany Studios also utilized the motif of grapes on a trellis frequently in their designs for leaded glass Tiffany Lamps and Windows, in addition to a rare series of carved Favrile Glass vases.

The form of this lidded box was also adapted for Tiffany's Favrile Pottery.


Bibliography:

Janet Zapata, The Jewelry and Enamels of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1993, p. 53, no. 19

Martin Eidelberg, Nina Gray and Margaret K. Hofer, A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, exh. cat., New York Historical Society, 2007, p. 88, no. 57

Martin Eidelberg and Nancy A. McClelland, Behind the Scenes of Tiffany Glassmaking: The Nash Notebooks, New York, 2000, p. 21 (for a period photograph showing the model in the 1906 Salon de la Société des Artistes Français, Paris)

Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 548 (for the period photograph cited above)

Martin Eidelberg, Tiffany Favrile Pottery and the Quest of Beauty, Lillian Nassau LLC: New York, 2010, pp. 34, 40 and 90 (for related forms)
Tiffany Studios Grape Enameled Covered Box 2
Tiffany Studios Grape Enameled Covered Box 2
American, circa 1906
Height: 5 inches (12.7 cm)
Diameter: 6 ½ inches (16.5 cm)

This rare enamel on copper covered box exemplifies the artistry achieved Tiffany Studios in the medium, achieved by uniting the artistic visions of Louis Comfort Tiffany, glass chemist Arthur Nash, and the young women who designed many of the objects produced by Tiffany’s highly specialized Pottery & Enamel Department.

Louis Comfort Tiffany first exhibited designs in enamel on copper at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, where Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company’s display was awarded twenty-four awards, including a Grand Prix. Just one year later, at the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, Tiffany was again awarded a Grand Prix, in this instance specifically for the enamel on copper designs.

Tiffany Studios first exhibited the Grape Box in enamel in the Spring of 1906 at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français and Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Period photographs indicate that Tiffany displayed the Grape box alongside some of his most important and innovative pieces, including several fine examples of Favrile Pottery and Favrile Glass in addition to two of his most important pieces of jewelry, the Peacock Necklace (now in the permanent collection of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art) as well as the recently rediscovered Medusa pendant.

In this example of the Grape Box, the luminous quality of Tiffany Studios’ enamels is evident. Against a dark iridescent ground, the rounded grapes in variegated shades of purple stand out in relief; the translucent enamel used to articulate the grapes allows the copper to reflect light, enhancing the three-dimensional effect and further contrasting with the more opaque background. The vibrant green of the broad grape leaves and deep red of the sculptural coiling vines further enhance the realism of the motif.

The naturalistic grapes on this vase was likely based on a series of still life sketches by one of the Tiffany Girls working in the Enamel studio, which was the typical practice of the designers working in a rare department at Tiffany known for their relative artistic freedom.

Tiffany Studios also utilized the motif of grapes on a trellis frequently in their designs for leaded glass Tiffany Lamps and Windows, in addition to a rare series of carved Favrile Glass vases.

The form of this lidded box was also adapted for Tiffany's Favrile Pottery.


Bibliography:

Janet Zapata, The Jewelry and Enamels of Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York, 1993, p. 53, no. 19

Martin Eidelberg, Nina Gray and Margaret K. Hofer, A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, exh. cat., New York Historical Society, 2007, p. 88, no. 57

Martin Eidelberg and Nancy A. McClelland, Behind the Scenes of Tiffany Glassmaking: The Nash Notebooks, New York, 2000, p. 21 (for a period photograph showing the model in the 1906 Salon de la Société des Artistes Français, Paris)

Alastair Duncan, Louis C. Tiffany: The Garden Museum Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2004, p. 548 (for the period photograph cited above)

Martin Eidelberg, Tiffany Favrile Pottery and the Quest of Beauty, Lillian Nassau LLC: New York, 2010, pp. 34, 40 and 90 (for related forms)




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