Tiffany Favrile glass highly prized by current collectors


Dear Helaine and Joe:

This bowl was given to me by my great uncle. I have had it for 40 years and just recently wondered about the inscription on the bottom. It reads “L. C. T. Favrile.” Any information including value would be appreciated.

Thank you,

S. P.,

Dear S. P.

Over the years, we have seen literally thousands of pieces marked “L. C. T.,” or “L. C. Tiffany” or some such to try and indicate they were made by Tiffany Furnaces in Corona, N.Y. Many of these have been fakes.

The authentic pieces have scratched-on signatures, which are easy to fake. The good news here is the bowl belonging to S. P. is not a fake. It is a genuine piece of Tiffany Favrile glass, which is highly prized by current collectors.

This word “Favrile,” incidentally, is derived from Latin for “handmade” or from the Old English for “belonging to a craftsman.” It was originally spelled “Fabrile.” We observe that the ground pontil appears to be correct, as do the ground leveling spots on the raised ribs. We do see an appropriate amount of surface wear, but nothing unsightly.

Louis Comfort Tiffany (L.C.T.) was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, who along with Charles Young founded a store in New York to sell stationery and bric-a-brac including Chinese fans, desks, silverware and umbrellas. Louis Comfort Tiffany was born in 1848 and studied painting in Paris, but began his working career in New York as an interior designer to the upper crust.

L. C. T. began having items such as wallpaper, fireplace tiles and decorative accessories made to suit his taste and design sensibilities. This led to the incorporation of the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in 1892, which sold such things as church furnishings, including the famous Tiffany stained glass windows.

In 1893, Tiffany became president of the Stourbridge Glass Company of Corona, N.Y., and the company evolved into Tiffany Furnaces, where Favrile glass was conceived and manufactured. Favrile glass has an iridescent surface, but the overall color of the piece is largely determined by the color of the base glass.

Glass in a color reminiscent of olive oil produced a multicolored but primarily golden surface when iridized, while a cobalt-colored base glass produced a brilliant metallic blue. It is hard to tell from the photographs submitted the exact color of the piece, but we suspect it is gold Favrile.

We also do not know the diameter of this piece, but again, we suspect — judging by the small table on which it is sitting — that it is approximately 8 inches in diameter. If this is the case, the insurance replacement value would probably be in the $600 to $800 range. Smaller examples should be valued for less, examples decorated with engraving would be valued for more, and blue Favrile might be valued for more, all things being equal.

———

Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson have written a number of books on antiques. Do you have an item you’d like to know more about? Contact them at Joe Rosson, 2504 Seymour Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917, or email them at treasures@knology.net. If you’d like your question to be considered for their column, please include a high-resolution photo of the subject, which must be in focus, with your inquiry.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community

Flu virus spread by breathing, study finds
Flu virus spread by breathing, study finds

Most people believe that the influenza virus is spread through the coughs and sneezes of infected people, but new research published Thursday suggests that the flu virus is spread more easily than previously thought. Medical professionals believe that the virus is spread most often by “droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk...
5 questions every woman in her 40s should ask her doctor
5 questions every woman in her 40s should ask her doctor

Women who are in their 40s are in many cases reaching a new stage in their lives. Your children may be more independent, and you might have a well-established career. It can also be a time of change, when it's easier to gain weight, and you may start to see the first signs of menopause. Being informed about the changes you may face during your 40s...
West Palm man has every childhood toy you wish you hadn’t thrown away
West Palm man has every childhood toy you wish you hadn’t thrown away

On their first date, he asked her what she collected. When she said, “stamps,” he gave her another chance. “What’s your favorite TV show from when you were growing up?” he asked. When she answered, “The original Charlie’s Angels,” he told her she should start collecting “Charlie’s Angels&rdquo...
Chris Pratt loved and nuzzled his sheep. Then he ate him.
Chris Pratt loved and nuzzled his sheep. Then he ate him.

The sheep on actor Chris Pratt’s farm had a glorious life on his way to the menu. “He was groomed and shorn, his hooves medicated, de-wormed, no antibiotics necessary,” Pratt, who has filmed movies including “Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2” and “Passengers” in Atlanta, said in a lengthy Instagram post...
Rapper Kodak Black arrested in South Florida
Rapper Kodak Black arrested in South Florida

Rapper Kodak Black was arrested Thursday in South Florida, accused of grand theft of a firearm, possession of marijuana and child neglect, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said. Black, 20, whose legal name is Dieuson Octave, also faces two counts of possession of a weapon by a felon and two counts of probation violation, the Sheriff&rsquo...
More Stories