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Identify Vintage Tiffin Satin Glass by Quality and Color

[retrieved from http://www.cajunc.com/art-identify-tiffin-glass]

History of Tiffin Glass as Factory R with U.S. Glass

Sky blue satin glass poppy vase from Tiffin Glass.

Antique, collectible and vintage glass made in the United States includes Tiffin Glass, makers of fine clear glass and satin glass in distinctive colors. U.S. Glass acquired a conglomerate of glass companies before the turn of the 20th century.

Tiffin Glass was one of the early U.S. Glass Company acquisitions. In 1892, after only three years in business in Tiffin, Ohio, U.S. Glass acquired the company. By 1914, Tiffin was making blown ware and cut crystal as U.S. Glass Factory R. Tiffin introduced many colors in the 1920s to meet the fashion demands of the public.

Of the satin colors, black is probably Tiffin's most outstanding product. Tiffin is quality glass in every color. The clear stemware is fine, smooth, nearly flawless, and Tiffin workers refired the seams so they do not show. The qualities that make Tiffin outstanding exist in the heavier satin pieces as well.


Colored Satin Glass

Tiffin black satin glass bowl with raised flower design.

Look for these colors in satin glass to find Tiffin production:

  1. Tiffin made two shades of satin green — reflex and emerald. Reflex green was pale like celery; emerald was more of a blue-green.
  2. Crystal satin goes with everything and rose pink was a Depression color.
  3. Canary was the yellow, and amberina fades from orange to yellow.
  4. Shades of blue were sky blue and royal blue.
  5. Ruby satin is deep brown-red color.

Tiffin Glass Decoration

Black satin from Tiffin is smooth with a semi-gloss satin finish, not flat finish like some of the other glass companies made. Tiffin frequently decorated black satin with silver overlay or hand enameling.

Coralene was a common Tiffin decorating technique as well. Coralene is fine glass encrusted with enamel to form raised flowers and designs on glass. Tiffin started with blown-out flowers in the design, then added coralene with exceptional effect.

Tiffin artisans sometimes decorated with gold, but Tiffin blanks went to decorating companies as well.


Tiffin Glass Shapes

Fine Tiffin glass dog figurine in amethyst satin.

Tiffin made 3 1/2 inch baskets with clamshells at the handles. Satin glass baskets came in all colors. Other Tiffin shapes were often smooth lines with pointy finials, typical of perfume bottles and compotes. Unusual pieces were animal and bird lamps and the long-necked grotesque cat seen in black satin with handpainted features. Tiffin made small boudoir lamps in canary and rose pink satin glass, often seen with the original electrical wiring from the 1930s.


The Tiffin Label

Tiffin crystal glass stem showing vintage foil label

Tiffin marked glass with a small embossed foil label shield with a large "T" and the Tiffin name. These labels are often intact on stemware and pieces not often washed.

Tiffin did not otherwise mark the production glass, although a few sand-carved pieces are marked with the cutter's signature. A computer-generated sticker we sometimes see bears no resemblance to the quality stickers Tiffin used, and the glass pieces are not Tiffin production.

Learn more about Tiffin glass at the Tiffin Glass Museum website or from Leslie Pina's Tiffin Glass Schiffer book