This series of photos taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, shows the similarities between old oxidized Roman glass and Tiffany glass. This is no accident. Tiffany studied Roman glass and loved the iridescence in it and recreated the effects in his work.
Photographs below courtesy of the Met except for the last one by me.
Louis Comfort Tiffany 1848-1933, son of a prominent New York jeweler, studied art in New York and later in Paris. While in France, he met Emile Galle who was producing art glass in Nancy. Tiffany was influenced by the Art Nouveau, Japanese prints, Middle Eastern art, and ancient Roman pottery.
Upon returning to America, Tiffany continued painting and was also involved in decorative arts. In 1875, he founded Louis Comfort Tiffany and patented his first glass-lustering technique in 1881. Favrile glass, the trademark for Tiffany handmade glass, resulted from these experiments in imitating Roman glass. This lustering technique, with its iridescent effect, involved dissolving salts of metallic oxides in the molten glass, creating soft greens, blues, golds, etc. The metallic content was then brought to the surface by subjecting the glass to a reducing flame and spraying with another chloride. This treatment caused the surface to crackle into a profusion of tiny lines that refracted light.
Tiffany retired in 1918. Nash carried on the business. In 1928, L.C. Tiffany severed all connection with the firm, withdrawing permission to use his name.
I love the old sign on the building across from Jefferson Market. It has an old phone number that uses a name with numbers, Algonquin4-1817, instead of 5 numbers. Ours used to be Oregon, OR5-0138, the same number that his mother had since 1945.
A short walk south from Christopher to 7th Avenue on Barrow Street in Greenwich Village, New York City. Bedford Street Doors are for Norm’s Thursday Doors, April 28.
A door next to ps3:
100 Bedford Street or 17 Grove Street (NE corner of Bedford and Grove): House of William Hyde, window-maker, built 1822. Author James Baldwin frequently stayed here. “The most complete wooden frame house in Greenwich Village”
SW corner of Grove and Bedford Streets.
95: Built as stables in 1894, later serving as a winery before becoming apartments in 1927. Alternate story by a local, “the building was actually built by J. Goebel & Company as a factory for crucibles–containers for holding molten glass”.
86: This unmarked door was the entrance to Chumley’s, a former speakeasy that never had an outside sign. A literary hangout for Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, O’Neill, Dos Passos, Faulkner, Anais Nin, Orson Welles, Edna St. Vincent Millay, James Thurber etc. And movie stars such as Humphrey Bogart would frequent this out of the public eye saloon. It evolved into a popular, cozy bar and restaurant; it can be seen in such films as Reds, Bright Lights, Big City, Wolfen and Sweet and Lowdown. Closed after a wall collapse in 2007 and has yet to reopen.
A short digression east on Commerce Street:
16 Commerce c. 1821: This old building has sagged alot. possibly due to the construction of 7th Avenue and the subway which cut through that section of Commerce Street.
23 Commerce: One of a row of Federal-style houses.
75 1/2 Barrow Street: Narrowest building in NYC. It fills in a former alley for carriages. Originally a cobbler’s shop and then a candy factory, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay lived here (1923-24), as did actors John Barrymore and Cary Grant.
70: Built 1807 by John Roome, sailmaker and court crier.
Doors and famous people on Horatio Street (the street I live on) from the Hudson River to Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich Village, New York City. Horatio Doors are for Norm’s Thursday Doors, April 21.
95 and 113 are luxury condos converted from factory buildings near the river. Odd numbers are on the north side and even on the south side of the street. This yellow brick building was built in 1947. While under construction the wood foundations of a 1812 fort were found. Pumps were installed in the basement to supply freezing brine water to the whole sale meat venders in the area.
Washington Commons – a small park on the south side of Washington Street between Jane and Horatio Streets.
83 has a tradesman’s entrance or entrance to rear building (lower door on the right) to the rear.
82: Playwright Clifford Odets lived in an apartment building there in 1933-35; he wrote Waiting for Lefty there in 1934.
81: Writer James Baldwin lived here in the 1960s while writing Another Country.
79 is a four-story 1870 building that was home to novelist William Gaddis in the 1930s and 1940s. It was sold for $7.4 million in 2008, and for $10.5 million in 2012. Note the larger French style windows.
77 was Built c. 1836.
73 houses the West Village Nursery School, a coop founded c. 1962. It was a nursery school before then because my husband Marc Felix attended it back in 1949.
Marc Felix at nursery school 1949
Marc at 73 Horatio St nursery school 1949
71 looks good in the snow.
69: Larry Kert, the original Tony in West Side Story, who later won a Tony as the lead in Company, lived here from 1977 until his death in 1999.
68 is modern.
65: Marc was friends of the Leacock’s children who lived here in the late 1950s to early 1960s.
62 was once a stable, now a home for a classic Porsche. This, like some other houses, had its stoop removed and the lower trademans entrance became the main entry.
Corner of Horatio (633 Hudson): Writer John Cheever lived in a former building here, a teenaged dropout living on bread and buttermilk, when The New Republic published his first short story. Earlier, this address was the headquarters of the Hudson Dusters, a criminal gang whose territory was Manhattan below 13th Street and west of Broadway. They were shut down by police in 1916.
48: The sculptor Cheim Grosshad his studio in this old Firehouse. The famous actor Anthony Quinn visited Gross for sculpture lessons.
47: Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollack lived there briefly in the early 1930s.
1, 3 and 5: Gypsies live at number 3 which used to be a variety store.
Green Triangle at Horatio Street, Jane Street and 8th Avenue.
2 is on the corner of Greenwich Avenue and was the address of Jackson Hall (1859-63), the meeting place of the Mozart Hall faction of the Democratic Party – opponents of Tammany Hall. A 17-story red-brick coop, built in 1931, stands there now.
Before the Van Gogh apartments at number 2 (1960) there were one story shops there. In one there was a furniture maker, a friend of Marc’s mother, who only used wood joinery in his constrctuiion. Sadly, he commited suicide.
Jackson Square Parkis bounded by Horatio Street, Greenwich Avenue and 8th Avenue. It was acquired by the city in 1826, named for President Andrew Jackson, and was redesigned by Calvert Vaux and Parks superintendent Samuel Parsons in 1887. The cast-iron fountain was installed in 1990.
Unfortunately, Greenwich Village is no longer a center for artists. It is the new “Gold Coast.” Low cost housing, the old hangouts and neighborhood stores are gone; replaced with condos, expensive restaurants, nightclubs, and boutiques.