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TYPES OF LAMPS

Favrile group
Geometric group
Transition to flowers group
Flowered cone group
Flowered globe group
Irregular lower border group
Irregular upper and lower borders group













Favrile group

Favrile, meaning handcrafted, is the term that defines the first and simplest shades made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. An early patent obtained by Tiffany under the name Favrile encompassed several types of glass used in the manufacture of stained-glass windows as well as leaded and blown shades. However, the term now is associated with blown forms such as shades and other types of hollow ware. Favrile pieces are generally inscribed L.C.T. or Favrile, while shades made from leaded glass are labeled with impressed metal signature tags.

Favrile group
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Geometric group

The term geometric is applied to the group of leaded-glass shades with the simplest designs, and includes standard geometric shapes such as squares, triangles, rectangles, ovals, ellipses, and rhomboids used on panel, cone, and globe-shaped shades. Unlike blown shades, the geometric and all ensuing groups were fabricated from pieces of poured glass cut in segments, edged with copper foil and leaded or soldered together to form a complete unit. A patinated bronze finish was then applied to the lead or solder lines. The geometric group is divided into two basic types: shades made from a large number of small glass pieces and those made from a limited number of large glass pieces, such as turtleback tiles and Favrile Fabrique panels.

Geometric group
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Transition to flowers group

The transition to flowers group serves as a bridge between the geometric and floral shades. It includes globe-shaped shades of basic geometric design with added botanical motifs. The group is divided into two categories: geometric shades with borders or belts of flowers and vines, and shades with scattered floral or leaf patterns on geometric backgrounds.

Transition to flowers group
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Flowered cone group

Botanical patterns, which were introduced in moderation on shades in the transition group, are employed en masse in the cone group. As described by Tiffany Studios in a 1906 catalogue, cone shades are straight-sided with circular rims. They are easier to manufacture than leaded shades with curved or rounded sides, hence the greater number of shades in this category. While cone-shaped shades are found in the geometric group, they are classified there by design rather than form. Another natural motif applied to cone-shaped shades is the dragonfly. This insect design is developed further in the flowered globe and irregular lower border groups.

Flowered cone group
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Flowered globe group

The flowered globe group is more complex in construction than the preceding group of cone-shaped shades. In terms of decorative progression, their shape permits a more natural rendering of the botanical and insect motifs. Tiffany Studios referred to this type of “domed” in its 1906 catalogue. Globes range in size from twelve inches to twenty-eight inches in diameter.

Flowered globe group
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Irregular lower border group

The shades in this group take on a more naturalistic form, with flowing, serpentine rims. The uninterrupted metal edge and stylized band of the preceding groups have been replaced with a curvilinear lower border. Except for the panel shades used with the grape trellis motif, all the shades in this group are globular in shape. The natural termination of leaves, fruits, insect bodies, and flowers give shades in the irregular lower border group an Art Nouveau character often associated with Tiffany Studios.

Irregular lower border group
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Irregular upper and lower borders group

At the final phase of development are shades with both irregular upper and lower borders. In this group the artificial straight edge of the aperture is replaced by an openwork crown that simulates tree branches or shrubbery. Finials have been eliminated, and light and heat are diffused through the crown. The combination of the irregular upper and lower border is, according to Egon Neustadt, “the consummate Tiffany Studios Shade.”

Irregular upper and lower borders group
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