Soldering iron from Tiffany Studios

Tiffany Studios

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Tiffany Studios (1902-1932) became well-known for its leaded-glass products, including lampshades (see 1974.214.15a,b; 1986.81.1a,b,c; 2011.99.3). During the course of its operation, the lampshade department was one of the most innovative and successful craftsmen's shops in America. To produce these complex objects, a skilled craftsperson would rely on cartoons to cut out brass templates that would then be used as guides to cut the hundreds of individual pieces of glass. The shade would then be assembled on a rounded wooden model or “form” and the glass pieces secured together with soldered lead. The American Wing’s collection includes several objects involved in the fabrication of Tiffany’s glass lampshades such as: a workbench (1980.497.1), a wooden model (1980.497.4), cartoons (1980.497.14), tools for cutting glass (1980.497.2,.3), and foil (1980.497.6,.7), for soldering lead (1980.497.8,.9), as well as photographs of workers in the department (1980.497.23-.25). When the department closed, its head, John Dikeman (1882–1967), retained the equipment for his own use in restoring Tiffany glass and decorative artifacts.

Soldering iron from Tiffany Studios, Tiffany Studios (1902–32), Metal, American

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