Tiffany jewelry

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Tiffany jewelry was the jewelry created and supervised by Louis Comfort Tiffany at Tiffany & Co., during the Art Nouveau movement.



Louis Comfort Tiffany waited until after his father’s death (Charles Lewis Tiffany) in 1902 before beginning to create jewelry. On March 22, 1902 Tiffany received approval to become a member of Tiffany & Co.’s Board of Directors, afterwards becoming vice-president and art director. This gave Tiffany the ability to make executive choices; without being under the shadow of his father any longer Tiffany was able to focus his creative energies on his jewelry. [1] (p73)

Tiffany began to experiment with jewelry designs in 1902 at Tiffany Furnaces, with the intent of showing his pieces as part of Tiffany & Co.’s display at the St. Louis Exposition. It was the perfect venue for him to show his range of talent in a variety of media. All the jewelry Tiffany made during this time was stamped with “Louis C. Tiffany,” along with “Artist.” [1] (p75) Unfortunately there are no surviving day books nor ledgers to help provide information on how Tiffany went about his jewelry prior to 1907, however his exhibit at the St. Louis Exposition provides some knowledge of his ventures. [1] (p76)


For many of the pieces that Tiffany produced during this time, his focus gravitated towards flower like inspirations. The nature theme was also a current motif that occurred in many of his other works. He also produced some pieces based on Etruscan prototypes. [1] (p76)

Motifs such as wild carrots, dandelions, birds and blackberries were quite common. The scarab theme was also used quite frequently as a decorative motive in his jewelry and desktop items. [2] (p122) It is noted that many of the pieces took on a very chunky appearance, reminiscent of the jewelry worn by the Celts. His work was very different from the airy, fluttery look of the Art Nouveau. [3] (p245)

Tiffany’s jewelry can be categorized into two main areas of influence, naturalism and historicism, but after further investigation it is apparent that he had many other influences, some being quite unidentifiable. [1] (p101)

Use colour and pattern

Most of Tiffany’s work has a lot of pattern, and looks busy but his use of colour makes his work stand out from everyone else’s. He uses mostly different tones of greens, blues and yellows in his glass work and lamps.


Tiffany not only explored the various jewelry processes of the time, but also branched out into new metals, such as platinum, which at the time was considered very hard to manipulate. [1] (p80)

It seems to be the case that unusual colorations appealed to Tiffany, like the opal. [1] (p89) He also preferred gemstones that were either opaque or translucent. Turquoise, jade, carnelian, lapis, moonstones, and opals were all chosen for their ability to filter light. Emphasis based on color was very prevalent in his works. [1] (p110)

He devoted his first year of jewelrymaking mainly to focus towards forms and techniques, and only really began to put a collection together once he was satisfied with the fruits of his labor. [1] (p91)

Once Tiffany and Co.’s began to manufacture his jewelry, there was a marked evolution in his pieces. His earlier pieces went from being made in a “hand-wrought” looking manner, to a much more symmetrical and stylized fashion. [1] (p97) There was a great variety of jewelry produced during the 26 years that Louis Tiffany’s enameling and jewelry division was in operation at Tiffany & Co. It has been estimated that nearly 5,500 pieces were produced during that time, an impressive amount considering the detail and craftsmanship in each piece. [1] (p136)

He produced the same high-quality artisanship that was very much prized during the Arts and Crafts movement. [4] (p732)

Style of work

Tiffany liked to use lots of pattern and colour in his work, and quite a lot of his work included animals, trees and flowers.

Lasting impressions

Although Tiffany was widely recognized for his artistic forms of expression, his jewelry was rather overlooked even to this day.[ citation needed ]

One of the last significant pieces that Tiffany produced was a plique-à-jour gold chalice enameled with peacock feathers, which he had designed in 1925. The piece was known to capture the true essence of his artistic expression.[ citation needed ] The cup portion of it was shaped like a tulip, once again reinforcing his admiration for nature. The peacock motif, shown in many of his pieces, is thought to have been his last appeal to immortality. [1] (p160)

A Tiffany Thought

Tiffany and his thoughts on artistic expression:

True art is ever progressive and impatient of fixed rules. Because a thing has always been done in a certain way is no reason why it should never be done in any other.

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Jewellery Form of personal adornment

Jewellery or jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and cufflinks. Jewellery may be attached to the body or the clothes. From a western perspective, the term is restricted to durable ornaments, excluding flowers for example. For many centuries metal such as gold used in different carats from 21, 18, 12, 9 or even lowers, often combined with gemstones, has been the normal material for jewellery, but other materials such as shells and other plant materials may be used. It is one of the oldest type of archaeological artefact – with 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells thought to be the oldest known jewellery. The basic forms of jewellery vary between cultures but are often extremely long-lived; in European cultures the most common forms of jewellery listed above have persisted since ancient times, while other forms such as adornments for the nose or ankle, important in other cultures, are much less common.

Art Nouveau Style of art and architecture about 1890 to 1911

Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts, known in different languages by different names: Jugendstil in German, Stile Liberty in Italian, Modernismo catalán in Spanish, etc. In English it is also known as the Modern Style. The style was most popular between 1890 and 1910. It was a reaction against the academic art, eclecticism and historicism of 19th century architecture and decoration. It was often inspired by natural forms such as the sinuous curves of plants and flowers. Other characteristics of Art Nouveau were a sense of dynamism and movement, often given by asymmetry or whiplash lines, and the use of modern materials, particularly iron, glass, ceramics and later concrete, to create unusual forms and larger open spaces.

Louis Comfort Tiffany American stained glass and jewelry designer

Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American artist and designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements. He was affiliated with a prestigious collaborative of designers known as the Associated Artists, which included Lockwood de Forest, Candace Wheeler, and Samuel Colman. Tiffany designed stained glass windows and lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels, and metalwork. He was the first Design Director at his family company, Tiffany & Co., founded by his father Charles Lewis Tiffany.

Art glass any artwork made of glass

Art glass is an item that is made, generally as an artwork for decoration but often also for utility, from glass, sometimes combined with other materials. Techniques include stained glass windows, leaded lights, glass that has been placed into a kiln so that it will mould into a shape, glassblowing, sandblasted glass, and copper-foil glasswork. In general the term is restricted to relatively modern pieces made by people who see themselves as artists who have chosen to work in the medium of glass and both design and make their own pieces as fine art, rather than traditional glassworker craftsmen, who often produce pieces designed by others, though their pieces certainly may form part of art. Studio glass is another term often used for modern glass made for artistic purposes. Art glass has grown in popularity in recent years with many artists becoming famous for their work; and, as a result, more colleges are offering courses in glass work.

Siegfried Bing German art dealer (1838 - 1905)

Samuel Siegfried Bing, who usually gave his name as S. Bing, was a German-French art dealer who lived in Paris as an adult, and who helped introduce Japanese art and artworks to the West and was a factor in the development of the Art Nouveau style during the late nineteenth century.

Eugène Grasset painter (1845-1917)

Eugène Samuel Grasset was a Swiss decorative artist who worked in Paris, France in a variety of creative design fields during the Belle Époque. He is considered a pioneer in Art Nouveau design.

Tiffany & Co. is an American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer headquartered in New York City. It sells jewelry, sterling silver, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances, water bottles, watches, personal accessories, and leather goods. Tiffany is known for its luxury goods, particularly its diamond and sterling silver jewelry. It markets itself as an arbiter of taste and style. These goods are sold at Tiffany stores, and through direct-mail and corporate merchandising.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art museum in Winter Park, Florida

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, a museum noted for its art nouveau collection, houses the most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany found anywhere, a major collection of American art pottery, and fine collections of late-19th- and early-20th-century American paintings, graphics and the decorative arts. It is located in Winter Park, Florida, USA.

Tiffany lamp type of lamp with a glass shade

A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with a glass shade made with glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his design studio. The most famous was the stained leaded glass lamp. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement.

Art jewelry

Art jewelry is one of the names given to jewelry created by studio craftspeople. As the name suggests, art jewelry emphasizes creative expression and design, and is characterized by the use of a variety of materials, often commonplace or of low economic value. In this sense, it forms a counterbalance to the use of "precious materials" in conventional or fine jewelry, where the value of the object is tied to the value of the materials from which it is made. Art jewelry is related to studio craft in other media such as glass, wood, plastics and clay; it shares beliefs and values, education and training, circumstances of production, and networks of distribution and publicity with the wider field of studio craft. Art jewelry also has links to fine art and design.

Laurelton Hall building in Laurel Hollow, New York, United States

Laurelton Hall was the home of noted artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, located in Laurel Hollow, Long Island, New York. The 84-room mansion on 600 acres of land, designed in the Art Nouveau mode, combined Islamic motifs with connection to nature, was completed in 1905, and housed many of Tiffany's most notable works, as well as serving as a work of art in and of itself.

Jean Michel Schlumberger was a French jewelry designer especially well known for his work at Tiffany & Co.

École de Nancy art movement

École de Nancy, or the Nancy School, was a group of Art Nouveau artisans and designers working in Nancy, France between 1890 and 1914. Major figures included the furniture designer Louis Majorelle, ebenist and glass artist Jacques Grüber, the glass and furniture designer Émile Gallé, and the crystal manufactory of Daum. Their work was largely inspired by floral and vegetal forms found in the region. The goal of the group was to produce in series ordinary objects, such as furniture, glassware, and pottery, with fine craftsmanship and in original forms, making art objects available for people's homes.

Driehaus Museum Decorative Arts Museum in Illinois, United States

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is a museum located at 40 East Erie Street on the Near North Side in Chicago, Illinois, near the Magnificent Mile. The museum is housed within the historic Samuel M. Nickerson House, the 1883 residence of a wealthy Chicago banker. Although the mansion has been restored, the Driehaus Museum does not re-create the Nickerson period but rather broadly interprets and displays the prevailing design, architecture, and decorating tastes of Gilded Age America and the art nouveau era in permanent and special exhibitions.

Art Nouveau furniture

Furniture created in the Art Nouveau style was prominent from the beginning of the 1890s to the beginning of the First World War in 1914. It characteristically used forms based on nature, such as vines, flowers and water lilies, and featured curving and undulating lines, sometimes known as the whiplash line, both in the form and the decoration. Other common characteristics were asymmetry and polychromy, achieved with inlays different colored woods.

Alice Carmen Gouvy American artist

Alice Carmen Gouvy was a designer at Tiffany Studios and worked closely with Clara Driscoll, the head of the Women's Glass Cutting Department.

Art Nouveau posters and graphic arts

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Art Nouveau in Paris

The Art Nouveau movement of architecture and design flourished in Paris from about 1895 to 1914, reaching its high point at the 1900 Paris International Exposition. with the Art Nouveau metro stations by designed Hector Guimard. It was characterized by a rejection of historicism and traditional architectural forms, and a flamboyant use of floral and vegetal designs, sinuous curving lines such as the whiplash line, and asymmetry. It was most prominent in architecture, appearing in department stores, apartment buildings, and churches; and in the decorative arts, particularly glassware, furniture, and jewelry. Besides Guimard, major artists included René Lalique in glassware, Louis Majorelle in furniture, and Alphonse Mucha in graphic arts, It spread quickly to other countries, but lost favor after 1910 and came to an end with the First World War.

Whiplash (decorative art)

The whiplash or whiplash line is a motif of decorative art and design that was particularly popular in Art Nouveau. It is an assymetrical, sinuous line, often in an ornamental S curve, usually inspired by natural forms such as plants and flowers, which suggests dynamism and movement.. It took its name from a woven fabric panel called "Coup de Fouet" ("Whiplash") by the German artist Hermann Obrist (1895) which depicted the stems and roots of the cyclamen flower. The panel was later reproduced by the textile workshop of the Darmstadt Artists Colony.

Art Nouveau glass art

Art Nouveau glass art is a type of finely-made, undulating, sinuous and colorful art objects, usually inspired by natural forms, in the Art Nouveau style, It most prominently appeared in the 1890s in the work of the American Louis Comfort Tiffany, Rene Lalique, Emile Gallé and the Daum brothers in France, Christopher Dresser in Scotland, and Friedrich Zitzman, Karl Koepping and Max Ritter von Spaun in Germany. Art Nouveau glass included decorative objects, vases, lamps, and stained glass windows. It was usually made by hand, and was usually colored with metal oxides while in a molten state in a furnace.


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