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Bejewelled by Tiffany 1837-1987

Bejewelled by Tiffany 1837-1987

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Copyright 2006

Tiffany & Co., since its foundation in 1837, has been a uniquely American brand, famous for its glamour, creative design and fine craftsmanship. Starting modestly as a

'Fancy Goods' store on Broadway, Tiffany rose quickly to international fame, its jewellery winning the medals and stunning the world at the great international exhibitions of the nineteenth century. America's new rich delighted in the striking jewels created by Tiffany designer Paulding Farnham and, from 1904, Louis Comfort Tiffany, both of whom pioneered a distinctively American aesthetic which delighted in the vividly coloured gemstones newly discovered in America.

A great period of naturalism in jewellery was followed by the abstract geometry of Art Deco. Sensitive to new trends and ever at the forefront of design, Tiffany moved confidently into the 1930s and 1940s with large and glamorous colourful stones set in swirling gold. In the postWar 1950s, they boldly backed new designers. The elegant and witty genius of French designer Jean Schlumberger, hired in 1956, brought an originality universally acclaimed. In the 1970’s Tiffany turned to the designers Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso whose work captured the informality and fun that patrons now looked for in their jewellery.

This sumptuous book is edited by Clare Phillips, Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with essays by a team of leading jewellery historians. Their essays chart the transformation of the modest New York store, under Louis Comfort Tiffany, into a world leader; its artistic flowering under Louis Comfort Tiffany and the re-establishment of Tiffany as a great, international company following the Second World War. Full catalogue entries, all beautifully illustrated and many with specially commissioned photography, cover around two hundred pieces of jewellery dating from the 1850s to the 1980s.

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