A 'Peony' Leaded Glass Window from the Darius Goff House, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, circa 1893
in painted wood frame
31 x 48½ in. (78.7 x 123.2 cm.)

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Lot Essay

Tiffany Studios produced a vast number of religious windows, but windows intended for a domestic setting are relatively rare. This window, depicting a vase filled with peonies sitting on a table, is an extraordinary example of one such window for used in a home.

The Peony window is from the Darius L. Goff residence in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, just north of Providence. Goff was an industrialist involved with textile manufacturing, banking and railroads and held interests in factories in New Jersey and Canada, as well as the Providence area. Although evidence varies, it appears that shortly after his father's death in 1891, Goff began construction on a new house at 11 Walnut Street and was listed in Pawtucket city directories as living there by 1893.

Goff served as a National Commissioner from the state of Rhode Island at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, an important position at this event which promised to bring American to the forefront of the world stage. His role at the Exposition provided him an incredible opportunity to view a full range of Tiffany's work. The Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company display was extensive, won many awards and, importantly for Goff, featured a number of domestic-scale leaded glass windows. Among them was the fantastic Feeding the Flamingos, which Tiffany later installed in his country estate, Laurelton Hall. It is fair to conclude that, having seen the type of work that Tiffany could produce, Darius Goff then commissioned a window for his newly-built home in Rhode Island and that it was installed some time in late 1893 or thereafter.

The extraordinary treatment of the flowers in the window exemplifies the high quality of work emerging from the Tiffany workshops at this time. The extensive use of 'confetti' glass, several layers of plating and asymmetrical composition illustrate the superior design and craftsmanship of the firm. Further, the treatment of the flowers in varying states of bloom prefigures the use of the same subject matter in the later 'Peony' and 'Elaborate Peony' lamps produced by Tiffany Studios.

After the death of Darius Goff, the Walnut Street house passed through several hands and eventually became a nursing home. The window remained in its original position in the front parlor of the house until early 2010.

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