Study of Morning Glories

Before it Becomes Stained Glass:

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Study of Morning Glories

Louis Comfort Tiffany

Study of Morning Glories

LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY

Louis Comfort Tiffany came to the Tiffany Furnaces one Monday in October 1913 with a watercolor he had recently painted. It was this spray of morning glories. Tiffany was aware that Arthur Nash, the superintendent of the glasshouse, was experimenting with special formulas that created a glass that reacted and changed colors when struck with heat. Tiffany said, “Try these with your new glass.” In other words, he wanted his painting reproduced in glass. After numerous failures, the gaffers finally succeeded by using five different types of reactive glass. They had created what became known as the Morning Glory paperweight vase.

Leslie H. Nash, the son of Arthur Nash and an employee of Tiffany Furnaces, relayed the above information in his unpublished memoirs. He went on to note that the company had spent $12,000 in materials and labor by the time the first successful vase had been created. That would be about $295,500 in 2017. Thus, the price of the completed vases was quite high.

Additionally, an archival photograph taken at Tiffany Furnaces in October 1925 shows a display of prize pieces. Among the items displayed are two Morning Glory paperweight vases and this Morning Glory watercolor painted by Louis Comfort Tiffany.