L.C.Tiffany was born in 1848 and lived until1933. His family today operates the well renown TIFFANY & CO of New York, known for t`s jewelry and exquisite luxury items.
During his youth his main interest was painting. He was a member of the National Academy at the age of 23- an accomplishment that has yet to have been achieved again.
Tiffany began experimenting with colored glass during the70`s of the 19th century and soon thereafter completed stained glass windows for churches. Already in this stage,
he portrayed colored nature screens within his windows, often allowing the glass to resemble plant forms.
With Thomas Edison`s discovery of the electric light bulb, the artisticly designed lampshade of glass was just a step away.
Tiffany`s first public exhibition of his lampshades was in 1899. One of his first lamps - the Nautilus Lamp - was patented in New York with the number 30665. The construction of the lampshades was the same as of the stained glass windows. Glass cutting patterns were made from a drawing, thus allowing many glass parts to be cut. It was out of these pieces then, that the lampshade was made. The conecting of these single glass pieces was made possible by framing the edges of every piece with a thin copper foil, which was then soldered to the neighboring copper foiled pieces.
This technique, combined with the linking approach made shades extremely stable, thus allowing us today to still see many of the old originals in museums of the United States of America.
Dr. Hans-Peter Grotepass
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