Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Favrile Glass Flower Form Vases are sculptures in glass: instead of utilitarian objects intended to showcase a floral arrangement, the vessels themselves became the botanical display.
Tiffany's first “floriform” vases were produced with the assistance of Arthur Nash in the early 1890s at Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company’s furnaces in Corona, Queens; vases dating from this period typically feature more experimental forms, colors and textures than those produced throughout the early twentieth century by Tiffany Studios.
The vases arranged here highlight just a small sampling of the methods utilized by Tiffany’s glassblowers to translate floral forms into Favrile Glass; some vases feature sculptural details, calling to mind an unfurling blossom or the ruffled edge of a petal, while others are marked by stylized decoration on the cup or the foot. Even the “stems” of the flowers differ in style, shape and technique, lending infinite variety to the perennial gardens of Tiffany Glass that the firm could offer.
"The observer is to be attracted to it partly because of the beauty of the material, and partly because the material suggests the beauty of a flower."
- Hugh F. McKean (1908–95), in his 1980 publication The “Lost” Treasures of Louis Comfort Tiffany. McKean, along with his wife Jeanette McKean, founded the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida.