The Charles Hosmer - Morse Museum of American Art

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Collection Highlights

Highlights / Glass

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Bowl, c. 1912
Blown glass
Tiffany Studios, New York City, 1902–32
Marks: 5197 G / L.C. Tiffany – Favrile
H. 7 in.

Aquamarine glass was one of the last major design innovations introduced at Tiffany Studios. These objects were made using a technique developed for paperweights—the kind you use to keep paper from flying away. Arthur Saunders, a gaffer at Tiffany Furnaces Inc. (1902–20), was sent to Bermuda to study sea life from a glass-bottomed boat for inspiration in creating this type of art glass. Aquamarine glass encases lampworked aquatic plant or fish designs in a thick gather of glass at the vessel’s base. The clear glass simulates the soft tones of water and the construction provides for a distinct waterline. With lampworking, also known as flameworking, glass is melted using a torch or lamp flame and then shaped with tools or movements. Aquamarine designs were difficult for glassblowers to produce; some examples could weigh as much as 25 pounds. The variety of glass within the object made annealing (or cooling) a tricky endeavor. The Aquamarine bowl shown here features a lily pad floating atop submerged stems.