Tiffany Glass Studios – SWNS

A pair of dirty windows bought on Facebook during a church demolition is set to sell for $225,000.

Antiques hunter Paul Brown from Pennsylvania paid around five grand for a bundle of various items from St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in West Philadelphia.

They included these stained glass windows which were discovered to be made by the noted company Tiffany Glass Studios, (1878 – 1933) founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Philadelphia-based auctioneers Freeman’s say the sale marks the first time a Tiffany Studios rose window has ever been offered at auction.

“This is such a rare and exciting market appearance,” said Tim Andreadis, Head of Freeman’s 20th Century and Contemporary Design department. “The intricacy of these works is stunning, and it’s meaningful to bring to market pieces that have such a deep, meaningful history in Philadelphia.”

Freeman’s explains that the twin roses of St. Paul were likely commissioned around 1904, completed in 1906, and supported in part by master merchant John Wanamaker, owner of the eponymous Philadelphia department store.

“The resulting windows feature leaded, mottled, streaky, acid-etched, and ripple glass in vibrant hues,” they add. These were all various forms of glass sold at Tiffany which made them one of the most coveted stained glass designers in North America.

From left to right, Dawn and Autumn panels by Tiffany Studios in the Brooklyn Museum, and The Angel of the Resurrection in the First Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis. credit CC 3.0. Sailko – CC 2.5 Opal Art Seekers

Brown saw the windows on Facebook Marketplace, and bought them along with wooden pews and doors. He then hired workers to sensitively extract the windows and, after confirming they were made by Tiffany Studios, reportedly paid $44,000 for restoration.

Created by what Freeman’s describes as “America’s skillful and most famous art glass designer”, the roses of St. Paul not only respond to the effects of the sun throughout the day, they also feature powerful symbolic imagery: one rose is centered by a crown representing Christ, and the other a dove representing the Holy Spirit.

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