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Firescreen from the entrance hall of the Henry O. Havemeyer house, New York

Louis Comfort Tiffany

Artwork Details

Firescreen from the entrance hall of the Henry O. Havemeyer house, New York
Louis Comfort Tiffany
gilt metal and opalescent favarile glass
40 x 44 in. (101.6 x 111.76 cm);47 in. x 4 ft. 3 in. x 7 1/2 in. (119.38 x 129.54 x 19.05 cm)
University purchase 1930, transferred to the Museum of Art


March 28, 2009
This delicate firescreen, composed of different colors and shapes of glass set in a filigree metal armature, is one of Tiffany’s most astonishing creations. Placed before the fireplace in the entry hall of the house (therefore just below the peacock mosaic), this piece would have been backlit whenever the fireplace was operating. This diaphanous and translucent firescreen would have been a handsome complement to the décor of the foyer and would have been a rich foil to the mosaics that occupied the upper portion of the room. Among the many sources that Tiffany knew and used for this work would have been Indian art—jewelry and perhaps also carved screens.

Subject Matter:

This firescreen was set in the entry hall of the Henry O. Havemeyer house, built in New York City 1890-91 with interior decoration by Louis Comfort Tiffany. As with most of Tiffany's designs for the Havemeyer house, this element combines geometric shapes with more curvilinear elements.

Physical Description:

Firescreen consists of a rectangular metal frame with glass and metal elements set in rectangular (largely geometric) framing patterns around a central panel of white and purple vertical glass rods. Along the bottom is a border of white, amber, and green glass circular elements in a more naturalistic pattern evoking grapes.

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