New York Times: Two Grime Covered West Philadelphia Church Windows Sold for Song Turn Out To Be Tiffany

Tiffany rose windows
Image and caption via The New York Times.
One of two Tiffany rose windows sets to be auctioned by Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia. They were formerly encased high in the walls of what is now the Hickman Temple A.M.E. Church.

Two large grime covered windows from a dilapidated Gothic Revival church in West Philadelphia turned out to be crafted in about 1904 by Tiffany Studios, writes Michael Levenson for The New York Times.

Paul Brown, an antiques collector from Lancaster, bought the windows from the Emmanuel Christian Center, the new owners of the church once known as St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.

The center was working on renovating the building when Brown ran into a salvager who offered the windows to him. He paid $6,000 for the windows, and hired workers to get them out of the wall.

He took the windows to the Philadelphia auction house Freeman’s. The news he got a few days later came as a shock to him.

The auction house told him that the rose windows are Tiffany. They put both up for auction on May 18 and have estimated their value to be $150,000 to $250,000 each.

Brown never even suspected the windows could have been made by Tiffany Studios.

“To be honest, Tiffany, in my world, has always been lamps, not windows,” he said.

Read more about the windows in The New York Times.


Salvaging common household stained glass windows and antique architectural elements started out as a thrilling adventure for Don Charles Riggott over 45 years ago… but has since evolved into a world-wide passion for the preservation of incredible Ecclesiastical church artifacts and historic church stained glass windows.

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