Tiffany Stained Glass History


Many people attribute the popular stained glass style found in lamps, windows and other items to a man named Louis Comfort Tiffany who lived between 1848 and 1933.

Tiffany was an American artist and designer whose name is synonymous with the Art Nouveau era. He was a painter and interior decorator. He promoted the copper foil method of stained glass that is so popular today. He is widely credited for the popularity of this method and it carries his name. His company made lamps, windows, doors, jewelry, metalwork, ceramics, blown glass mosaics, etc. Louis Comfort Tiffany founded the Tiffany Glass Company in 1885 but it no longer exists. His father, Charles Lewis Tiffany, previously had started a jewelry store named Tiffany & Co. in 1837.

However, stained glass artwork has a much longer and relatively unknown history. Solid color glass panels have been found that are nearly 2,000 years old. These are not created with the copper foil technique but rather sheets of glass that have been colored by minerals, oxides and other compounds. The color is not applied like paint or colors but rather created while the glass is in the molten state. Single panels were discovered in the remains of ancient Pompeii which was destroyed in a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius around 79 AD Many artifacts that were found in the ruins of Pompeii are in museums around the world especially in Naples, Italy.

Colored glass panels were also used in religious settings as early as 11 AD in Europe.

– Jim Hoyle

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Source by Jim Hoyle