Skip to content

Tiffany Studios New York "Moorish" Prism Chandelier

A Tiffany Studios New York glass and bronze "Moorish" prism chandelier, featuring fifteen gold iridescent glass "Prisms" suspended from an intricately sculpted and pierced patinated bronze heat cap. The design of the heat cap is inspired by the cypress tree motif that graces the tiles of Topkapi Palace, a magnificent palace built during the golden age of the Ottoman Empire. Tiffany incorporated this same cypress tree pattern into the wall decor of his renowned Laurelton Hall Fountain Court. Each prism shimmers with great transparency, mesmerizing with its iridescence and chains with alternating chain links and bronze spheres highlighting each chain. Tiffany wrote extensively on the prismatic color theory in the Scientific American— his conceptual understanding derived from Isaac Newton’s book “Optics.” Newton had famously proved that white light consisted of a miscellany of colors using his prism experiment. Late nineteenth century publications suggested that amateur scientists use chandelier prisms to try Newton’s experiment at home. As a man of the modern age, Tiffany believed that science and art must cofunction for the greatest effect. With custom made Tiffany style reproduction chain and canopy.

Add to Wishlist

  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: L-21152
Artist: Tiffany Studios New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1910
Dimensions: 8" diameter, 25.5" height
Materials: Bronze, Glass
Literature: A similar Moorish chandelier is pictured in: Tiffany at Auction, by Alastair Duncan, p. 177, pl. 465 and: Tiffany Lamps and Metalware, by Alastair Duncan, page 268, plate #1035.

Tiffany’s Moorish chandeliers were inspired by the Egyptian Fanous lantern. Hung on streets and homes during Ramadan, the Fanous spread across the Islamic world. The tradition began when Pharaohs would light torches to celebrate the birthdays of the gods. In an account of his experience of Ramadan in Morroco, Walter B. Harris (1895) wrote "It was a warm moonlight night and we pitched the big Moorish tent amongst the trees of an olive grove and hung it with colored lanterns [fanous.] Coming in a variety of colors, Tiffany gravitated to orange, red, and amber as it evoked the burning sands and dimly lit inns of Marrakesh.