Tips by Dr. Lori

Tiffany Stained Glass Windows

by Dr. Lori Verderame

Circa 1,100 AD, a window made of colored glass was documented in Germany. As the history and styles of stained glass windows developed, colored or stained glass windows were used in churches, monasteries, and other places of worship worldwide. When it came to American stained glass art, John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany are considered masters of the form. 

John La Farge (1835-1910) is well known for his stained glass windows featuring floral gardens and landscapes. He worked with W. J. McPherson in the late 1800s and La Farge experimented with new methods for making stained glass windows. In 1879, La Farge made opalescent glass pieces and created stained glass windows as we know them today. This new process did away with the need to paint the glass with metal oxides and kiln fire the glass panels in order to make images permanent. The innovations that La Farge and other esteemed glassmakers put forth impacted the value of pieces and the history of the medium. 

La Farge & Tiffany

John La Farge and his follower, Louis Comfort Tiffany were the two biggest names in late 19th Century and early 20th Century stained glass production in America. Tiffany began experimenting with glass art in 1873 and opened Tiffany Glass Company in 1885. Tiffany followed La Farge in making stained glass windows that highlight nature, flowers, and landscapes. Tiffany's trademark when it came to stained glass was intricate, detailed, high quality, and beautiful work. 

What to Look For

The Tiffany name has a longstanding relationship with high quality and exceptional design in the United States of American and abroad. Tiffany produced stained glass windows for many different clients using various techniques such as opalescent, etched, and enameled glass. Tiffany stained glass windows were made for private residents, churches, and businesses. Some Tiffany stained glass windows have elaborate landscapes featuring saints for religious use or floral motifs for private residents used in sun rooms, entry doors, or windows. Large scale Tiffany windows in good condition ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 on the market today.

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