Nov. 25 Art Minute: ‘Favrile Fabrique (Linenfold) Library Lamp’

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Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848–1933) and Leslie Hayden Nash (American, 1884–1958) for Tiffany Studios, New York, Favrile Fabrique (Linenfold) Library Lamp. Leaded glass, gilt bronze, about 1913–1914. H. 27 in., Diam. 18 in. Purchased with funds given in memory of William Granger Souder, Sr., with love from his wife Victoria Majure Souder and the Souder, Louis, and von Weise families, 2012.136. Gallery 30B

Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848–1933) and Leslie Hayden Nash (American, 1884–1958) for Tiffany Studios, New York, Favrile Fabrique (Linenfold) Library Lamp. Leaded glass, gilt bronze, about 1913–1914. H. 27 in., Diam. 18 in. Purchased with funds given in memory of William Granger Souder, Sr., with love from his wife Victoria Majure Souder and the Souder, Louis, and von Weise families, 2012.136. Gallery 30B

Like other lighting retailers in New York, Tiffany Studios offered table lamps with a choice of traditional parchment and pleated silk shades. From 1913 to 1914, the independent designer Henry O. Schmidt (1860–1943) patented a new type of mold-cast glass lampshade panels for Tiffany Studios imitating delicately pleated silk. Under the directorship of Leslie Hayden Nash, Tiffany Studios offered an expanded range of lampshades in this new favrile fabrique style (“favrile” was the name of Tiffany’s trademarked line of glass).

The gilded bronze lamp base and its large shade composed of glass panels in a leaded framework represented the top of the line of the company’s table lamps at the time. Retailing in 1913 for 115 silver dollars, it was more expensive than most lamps with brightly colored stained glass shades. Tiffany Studios advertised these innovative lamps as suitable wedding gifts for the modern bride:  “The Fabrique Shades are recent creations, which have attracted great attention. The Glass resembles the texture and appearance of silk without the disadvantages of getting out of shape, soiling, or fading.”


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