Ten-Light Lily Lamp, ca. 1902
Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848-1933) and Tiffany Studios
Blown glass and gilt bronze
Tiffany ultimately developed an entirely new art form, pioneering the artistic use of the light bulb to create decorative objects that were both elegant and utilitarian. While many Tiffany lamps feature leaded-glass shades, others are adorned with blown glass Favrile shades, such as this example. Tiffany’s iridescent blown glass was patented in 1894 under the name Favrile, derived from an Old English word for handcrafted.
Nature was Tiffany’s primary source of inspiration, as is apparent in every aspect of this lamp, from its floral shades and stems to its lily pad base and light switch. The company’s Lily “cluster” lamps varied in blossom number and were produced in table, floor, and ceiling models. Capturing the essence of the international Art Nouveau movement, the graceful bouquet of iridescent lilies conceals the light bulbs, which fit within the natural form of the flowers.