Saint Mark, the South Carolina Tiffany Window
Believed to be the fifth Louis Comfort Tiffany Studio’s stained-glass work of art placed in Blandford Church, is the South Carolina window featuring Saint Mark. Depicted as a bearded young man dressed in a tunic designed in drapery glass with variations of pink, he is the only saint portrayed in the chapel with his head covered. His face, hands and feet are hand-painted on flesh colored glass in order to give a life-like appearance; this technique is used in all of the figured windows. The window was unveiled to the public in June, 1910 as part of the Ladies Memorial Association’s 1910 commemoration of the June 9, 1864, Battle of Old Men and Boys, which marked the beginning of the nearly ten-month siege of Petersburg in 1864-65.
Saint Mark was allegedly shipwrecked while preaching the gospel along the Adriatic seacoast. An angel appeared to him and told him to build a church there, because “On this site a great city will arise in your honor.” (Ferguson 1955) The church was built, and the city of Venice developed.—(Martha Wrenn Briggs, The Compass Windows of Old Blandford Church)
In the contract with the Tiffany Studios for the South Carolina window, the cost was $350, with a $35 fee for “sash protection, freight and setting.” This was the standard charge for each of the now priceless compass window installed in the church between 1904-1912.
Blandford Church is now managed by the Petersburg Preservation Task Force and is open for tours on Thursday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00p.m. and on Sunday, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Beginning March 1, hours of operation will be extended to 5:00 p. m. For more information, call (804) 733-2396.
More Tiffany windows information can be seen at
Written by Zanspace for The Petersburg Preservation Task Force.
Featured image provided by Petersburg Preservation