Tiffany Red Cypriote Glass Vase, ca. 1926
I got it from my mother's family, probably 30 years ago, and I really know nothing about it.
What have you been doing with it all these years?
Sitting in a curio cabinet, just so my children and grandchildren wouldn't break it because I like it. It's just unusual.
Well, I'm glad you kept it safe because it is a piece of Tiffany glass. And this type of glass is called Cypriote glass. Cypriote is c-y-p-r-i-o-t-e. And Cypriote glass is the type of glass that is characterized by the irregular, pitted and textured surface that you see on this vase. What it's meant to replicate is how the excavated Roman glass looked when it was discovered. Usually what happened over the time that it was buried, the chemicals in the minerals and moisture in the dirt or the sand would react with the surface of glass, and it would create something that looked just like this. And according to Jimmy Stewart-- not the actor but one of the chief people who worked in the glassblowing department at Tiffany-- he described how this was made. And what they did is they took a hot gather of glass and they rolled it on a marver. A marver was an iron or marble table, and on the table were crushed-up bits of glass, the same kind of glass, and they rolled it in the glass and then they reheated it and they blew it into its final form. And sometimes they would make it into an iridescent surface. This one isn't so much iridized, but the earlier ones were done that way. And it sounds like a fairly complex technique, but they were able to make this in the 1890s. However, this is a later piece. This piece actually dates from the 1920s.
The earlier pieces were purple, gold, blue and sometimes even a little green in the surface. The other thing that's unusual about this is it has a clear bottom that's been applied, a clear foot. The other two pieces that I've seen didn't have this applied foot. Now it's stable, and you could read the signature better. At the beginning of the signature, there's a number, and then the numbers are usually accompanied with a prefix letter or a suffix letter. This has a suffix letter, "P", which indicates that the piece was made between 1926 and 1929. It is rare and it is desirable because people like red glass, and now you have a red Cypriote glass, which makes it even more exciting. In today's market, something like this would be $25,000 in a retail store.
Oh, Lord. Maybe I better insure it.
That's probably an excellent idea.
I almost didn't bring it.
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