Tiffany Favrile shades

Tiffany 12" diam. blue Favrile shade with carved insects

Tiffany 12" diam. blue Favrile shade with carved insects

Tiffany Studios is most famous for leaded glass lamps, but they produced lamps with hand-blown shades, called Favrile glass shades.  Most of them are similar in shape (domical) and decoration (wave decoration).  They fit into harp lamps or counterbalance lamps, either in table or floor versions.  Most of the available supply are gold decorated, with green decorated shades being a bit rarer, followed by blue shades (rare) and finally red shades (extremely rare).

Occasionally the shades were blown with a flaw, such as an air bubble or an impurity.  Tiffany Studios made lemonade with these lemons, by hand-carving an insect over the defect.  The flaw would become the body of the insect.  Even though these shades were originally flawed, they are now worth a premium because of the added insect.

On rarer occasions, perfect shades were more intricately carved with leaf and vine decoration or insects.  The carving adds significant rarity and therefore, value, to them.

Tiffany 10" diameter blue Favrile shade with hand-carved dragonfly

Tiffany 10" diameter blue Favrile shade with hand-carved dragonfly

So to sum up, an undecorated shade is the least valuable, then a decorated shade.  Then comes the color, with the rarer colors worth more.  Then comes added details, like carving, adding still more value.  If one could find a red decorated shade with wheel-carving of insects, that would be something really special.  In all my experience, I’ve never seen one, but I sure would love to.

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4 thoughts on “Tiffany Favrile shades

  1. phil: i received your blog from a fellow tiffany collector and friend. might you include me in its mailing from you. i love it. we have met at the beach show and i have always respected yoru knowledge and reputation.
    bill neidlinger

  2. Bill, glad to have you as a reader. If you have an RSS reader, which you can find at, you can subscribe to my blog. If not, check every day, M-F, and I’ll be posting new info. Best. Philip

  3. Bill, I would really appreciate if you could answer this question. For a tiffany favrille pole lamp shade, wave type, gold, appdroximately 11 inches in diameter, what is the maximum wattage I should use?

  4. Generally I don’t recommend higher than 40W for Favrile glass shades. If you use one of the newer, coiled, energy efficient bulbs, you can go up to 60W equivalent.

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