Louis Comfort Tiffany is famous for his beautiful stained glass lamps and lighting creations that he pioneered in the late 1800s. Although an American designer and the son of the founder of the famous jewelry company of the same name in New York City, he himself was most associated with the French Art Nouveau movement and his lamps are a perfect example of that style. Today, the Dale Tiffany company continues to create lamps, chandeliers and other lighting and accessories in this style, often replicating the original designs of the antiques and using the traditional methods developed by this innovative glass designer.
The most famous pieces he created are colorful stained glass lampshades featuring mosaics of opalescent art glass. The dragonfly wings motif is probably the most celebrated of his designs and recognizable to people who may not even know his name! Other designs include fabulous floral extravaganzas and other images from nature. He started out as a painter, and you can see his artistic vision in these lighting designs that are so flowing and elaborate, they are like works of art in themselves.
These glass lamps are very ornate and today’s versions are equally sumptuous, sometimes involving a thousand pieces of stained glass to create one single mosaic design.
The intricate and exquisite detail is made possible by his greatest invention. This was the development of the "copper foil" technique in stained glass. This meant that each piece of cut glass was edged in copper foil and hand-soldered together into the desired image. The new technique allowed the glass artist to create the complex and colorful designs that create a beautifully luminous focal point in any room.
Today, Dale Tiffany craftsmen still cut the art glass by hand, apply the copper foil by hand and assemble the design by hand. Extra ornaments such as metal filigree or colored jewels might be added to accent details such as dragonfly wings. A superb antique finish adds to the authentic look of these decorative lamps, chandeliers, scones and pendant lights.