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Beauty, Rarity, History...The M.S. Rau Antiques Blog

Bill Rau

M.S. Rau Antiques

Led by third-generation owner and published fine art expert Bill Rau, M.S. Rau Antiques has grown by leaps and bounds since his grandfather Max Rau opened the doors in 1912 to a then-small antiques store in the heart of New Orleans' historic French Quarter. Bill's extensive knowledge and reputation as a leader places him among the most respected antique experts and gallery owners today.

A New Orleans institution for over 100 years, M.S. Rau Antiques is among the premier antiques galleries in the world. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, our 25,000 square foot gallery overflows with incredible antiques by names including Tiffany & Co., Paul Revere and Fabergé. Our unparalleled selection of important, original paintings and sculpture spans the 16th through the 21st century, created by legendary artists such as Brueghel, Monet and Rockwell, and our diverse selection of exquisite jewels, including rare colored diamonds, Kashmir sapphires and Burma rubies is without equal.

America’s Artistic Pioneer–Louis Comfort Tiffany

  • Louis Comfort Tiffany's iconic windows were so detailed they were often referred to as "paintings in glass"

    Louis Comfort Tiffany's iconic windows were so detailed they were often referred to as "paintings in glass"

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

  • This early and extremely rare Peony table lamp has one of the largest shades ever created by Tiffany Studio

    This early and extremely rare Peony table lamp has one of the largest shades ever created by Tiffany Studio

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

  • A rare Jack in the Pulpit vase by Tiffany Studios.  Tiffany's stunning Favrile glass exhibited dichroic properties inspired by ancient Roman glass.

    A rare Jack in the Pulpit vase by Tiffany Studios. Tiffany's stunning Favrile glass exhibited dichroic properties inspired by ancient Roman glass.

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

Louis Comfort Tiffany is internationally recognized as a master of the American decorative arts. Considered to be the driving force behind the Art Nouveau style in America, Tiffany worked with nearly every decorative medium imaginable, even serving as the first Design Director for his father's Tiffany & Co., but it is his personal triumphs in glassmaking that garnered the artist his highest recognition.

Though Tiffany first started his experiments with stained glass in 1875, it was not until 10 years later that he opened Tiffany Glass Company, which was later changed to Tiffany Studios in 1900. By that time, he was already the leading art glass producer in the country, serving wealthy New Yorkers and commissioning massive windows for Mark Twain, Cornelius Vanderbilt and even the White House. Due to Tiffany's ability to create incredible details in his windows using solely the qualities of his unique glass, a technique displayed in this striking Tiffany Figural Window, these masterpieces soon became known as "paintings in glass."

Tiffany's discovery of what he coined "favrile" glass (derived from and old English word meaning "handcrafted") in 1881 catapulted his reputation. The favrile technique produced glass that is iridescent and freely shaped, which he then combined with bronze and other metals to get the desired translucency, as seen in this incredible "Jack in the Pulpit" Vase. The exquisitely dichroic combination of his distinctive favrile glass and the matchless vibrancy of his stained glass gives Tiffany's legendary lamps, in particular, an unrivaled beauty. This awe-inspiring Tiffany Peony Table Lamp transforms into a brilliant, almost pulsating medium when viewed by transmitted light. So beautiful and true to the essence of nature, that Tiffany himself stated that his lamps allowed people to enjoy the elements of nature all year long in the beauty of his glass.

At the time of Tiffany's death in 1933, the floral opulence of Art Nouveau gave way to the sleek styling of Art Deco. It was not until the late 1960s that Tiffany Studios' lamps came back into demanding popularity.  Now, the beauty, rarity and uniqueness of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios are honored and treasured throughout the world, confirming the artist's legacy as a visionary of the Art Nouveau movement.

To view M.S. Rau Antiques entire Tiffany Studios collection, click here.

 

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