Monday, January 18, 2010

Tiffany Window

In the 1980's our church built a new, larger sanctuary... abandoning the old one to basically sit empty until a couple of years ago. The room, which holds about 150 people, has been renovated and now is a beautiful, vintage room for weddings, funerals and receptions. This smaller sanctuary is full of stained glass windows, one of which is a true Tiffany, complete with number and registration. It was commissioned by Whitelaw Reid in memory of his father in 1895. The window was completed and shipped from the Tiffany Studios in New York City to Cedarville, Ohio in 1902.
Being 106 years old when the sanctuary was renovated,
you can imagine that it needed some work itself!
The professionals were called in, Beau Verre-Riordan
Stained Glass Studios from Middletown, Ohio.
This studio was established in 1838 and they actually
had done the original installation back in 1902.
It took 10 months to refurbish the 18 foot window.
All the lead had to be replaced, using a unique
Tiffany lead, thick enough to hold the heavy glass.
I stopped in and watched on several occassions
as each piece was painstakingly removed,
returned to their studio for work and then
returned and put into place by soldering the lead.
This large medalion piece has 2000 glass pieces in it.
Each are cut, chemically processed and layered
to reflect light. In the sun the pieces sparkle! It was
very difficult to capture with my little camera, but you
can see some of the shimmering in the angel's wings.
When the 6 men were there to reinstall this medalion
piece, they were so nervous in it's lifting (heavy!)
and concerned not to drop it, that they asked that
nobody be there with them to watch.
I don't blame them one bit!
There is a sister window
on the opposite side of the room...same size and shape
with gold and brown colors, but not a Tiffany.
The restoration took 10 months and $35,000 but
it makes the room and was certainly worth it!
The line you see on the right side is an electrical cable outside the window. :)


  1. That is absolutely beautiful, and I love the story you told with it. What a special place to hold weddings. I'm so glad that your church was able to preserve it.

  2. you did a wonderful job capturing the essence of the window in all it's splendor...thanks for the info about it, it was interesting!

  3. This is just gorgeous! What a special thing to have in your church!

  4. Ah Betsy. You have hit upon a weakness of mine. I have always wanted to take a stained glass design course. And I own several Tiffany reproduction lamps. Light reflected and refracted through colour is so glorious, isn't it?

    Such detail and love clearly went into this restoration, and it's so lovely when people like you and members of your congregation... and your blog readers (!) recognize the beauty and care involved.

    Thank you for brightening my day... hugs to you, my friend.

    Suzanne xxoo

  5. Suzanne ~ hey...how nice to hear from you! Oh, your lamps sound beautiful! I'd love to have one...even reproduction!

  6. Beautiful!

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    We will email you pictures and prices if you win. Easy Peasy.
    Email me if you have a question.


  7. Betsy, that window is beautiful!!!
    That would be interesting to watch them work on it and don't blame them for not wanting people there when they did the big one. That would be a beautiful place to have a wedding.

  8. Wow Betsy, that Tiffany Window is amazing... I'll bet it was hard to leave that old sanctuary ---but churches have to grow and move at times... That's progress (I guess)!!!!

    BUT--that old building is amazing. I'm so glad that the money was available to renovate it --and it will be usable. Does the church still own it---or does it belong to the community??? Where did the renovation money come from??? Is it on the historical registry now????

    Love the pictures. The stained glass windows are totally AWESOME.

    Thanks for sharing.


  10. Betsy ~ yes, our church still owns it. It was just the one room in our building complex and the new sanctuary was built right there...the two share a wall, in fact. Our congregation raised the money. My sunday school class meets in there, in fact! Very nice. :)

  11. wow. There is a Tiffany window in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I bring my students to see. Amazing. Such beauty. A thing to be grateful for indeed.

  12. Words just don't express but... Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  13. That is an amazing thing to see. The medallion also. I hope they know and keep the historical treasure and never let it go. It is so beautiful. The church my wife and I were married in was sold to an art dealer. All the windows in the building are still there with the plaques that were different relatives of my wife's family. We pray that some day, a small congregation will buy it because the business goes under and they restore it back to a church.

  14. Oh that is breathtaking. You photography is outstanding.

    It just makes me want to raise my hands and sing Holy, Holy, Holy.

    I wish our church has stained glass windows....

    PS You are right Betsy... I just couldn't take those tea bags off the card... :)

  15. L.D. ~ this one could have been sold for $500,000. I'm glad it wasn't!

  16. Wanda ~ you are too cute with those tea bags!

  17. How absolutely stunning ! I'm pleased to read they worked hard and were able to restore it, so many of them are lost in time, and beyond repair.
    I bet it is a sight to behold when the sun is shining through it.
    Lovely post !

  18. How fabulous! I really enjoyed this post. I studied stained glass in college, so I'm always drawn to it. The Arts and Crafts Movement was my area of concentration, so Tiffany is like a familiar old friend to me. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful work.

  19. Beautiful window. I love stained glass windows and there are so many of them all around Prague churches and cathedrals.
    Very interesting to know you have such a priceless window in your church.;)

  20. Thanks Betsy, you have just given me an idea for the alternative to "Sepia Saturday".

    My contibutions to that fell rather flat compared to every body elses (you can tell by the lack of comments to my offerings!) so I've been trying to think of an alternative.

    Of course! My stained glass work. Before I retired I had a studio where I designed, made and repaired stained glass for churches, chapels etc. Now I just do it as a hobby in my little studio at home, making window hangings, and tiffany style lamps to sell around the craft fairs.

    Watch my page. . . .soon.

  21. Hi Betsy

    how wonderful to have such a spirit filled and soulful venue
    For the community's use.

    Happy days

  22. love stained glass...so much to see in each one.

    as far as building projects...i like to see them on the backside...lots of work!

  23. Wow... how absolutely stunning. :c)

  24. Truly beautiful and so wonderful that your congregation gets to enjoy the beauty.

  25. Betsy...when this renovation was done I was compelled to stop by and look too...such an amazing process! I appreciate stained glass so much NOW.
    You managed to get some really good photos of it!

  26. This is absolutely stunning! What a joy it must be to see in reality! I loved stained glass, and Tiffany's church stained glass is a joy isn't it?

  27. Betsy,
    You are talking my language here! Oh My Gosh!! How beautiful. I miss stained glass windows in churches of today. I'm am getting old and set in my ways, I guess. But I feel there is a reverence and worship that is missed today. This is why LadyCat and I have been visiting the St Bontiface Catholic Church. The interior is magnificent and the sun shining through the stained glass windows and to the reverence of the service along with the mega huge pipe organ. Thanks for a great posts and I want you to have a marvelous day today! :) The Bach

  28. You got me so excited, I meant to say "adds" to the reverence of the service... duh! silly me! ;)
    The Bach

  29. Fascinating post, Betsy! What a beautiful (and rare) treasure for your church to have. Tiffany stained glass is such an interesting art form, I envy your opportunity to view parts of the restoration process.

  30. Bach ~ sometimes you don't even need to hear a sermon, do you...just the atmosphere can speak to you!

  31. The window and story are so inspiring! And a Tiffany original...amazing!!

  32. Betsy, this is spectacular! I do know of another church round my area that "recycled" all theirs, as well( reminding myself to get some snaps, one of these days )...

  33. Well, I'm an associate member there, and didn't know this, so I've learned something. Thanks for including this in your blog.

  34. Betsy, the members of your church are blessed to have such beautiful surroundings. The restoration story was interesting as well. What a job to have...what responsibility.

  35. That is really amazing artwork. I love old stained glass.

  36. Absolutely gorgeous stained glass. Thank you for such a lovely, lovely post! :)

  37. This is exquisite! I absolutely love windows like this, especially the Burne-Jones and William Morris windows..<>

    I took classes in stained glass and it is not easy by any means. It also didn't help that I wanted to skip the basic cutting and just design:)...

  38. It is beautiful...the window and this account. Glad you had a sunny day! What an art piece it is.

  39. This is absolutely beautiful .
    Every pane was so beautifully matched.

  40. that is absolutely stunning. I can see some of that sparkle even from all the way over here! :)


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