Tiffany & Co. History
The 1830s in
On their way to the new emporium at 259 Broadway, fashionable ladies in silks, satins, and beribboned bonnets faced a gauntlet of narrow streets teeming with horses and carriages and the hurly-burly of city life. At Tiffany & Co. they discovered a newly emerging “American style” that departed from the European design aesthetic, which was rooted in religious and ceremonial patterns and the Victorian era’s mannered opulence. The young entrepreneurs were inspired by the natural world, which they interpreted in exquisite patterns of simplicity, harmony and clarity. These became the hallmarks of Tiffany design, first in silver hollowware and flatware, and later in jewelry.
Tiffany first achieved international recognition at the
The silver studio of Tiffany & Co. was the first American school of design and, as one observer remarked, “a teacher of art progress.” Apprentices were encouraged to observe and sketch nature, and to explore the vast collections of sketches and artwork assembled by Edward C. Moore, the head of the studio. By 1870 Tiffany & Co. had become
In 1878 Tiffany acquired one of the world's largest and finest fancy yellow diamonds from the
In 1886 Tiffany introduced the engagement ring as we know it today—the Tiffany® Setting—an innovation that lifts the diamond above the band with six platinum prongs, allowing a more complete
return of light from the stone and maximizing its brilliance. Today the Tiffany Setting continues as one of the most popular engagement ring styles and shining symbol of the jeweler’s diamond authority.
as well as the Ottoman Emperor and the Czar and Czarina of
With the death of Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1902, Louis Comfort Tiffany, the founder’s son, became Tiffany’s first Director of Design. An entire floor of Tiffany & Co. was devoted to merchandise crafted in the Tiffany Studios, Louis Comfort Tiffany’s atelier. His position as
Throughout the jeweler’s history, the most prominent members of American society were frequent Tiffany customers. Vanderbilts, Astors, Whitneys and Havemeyers, as well as J.P. Morgan, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Paul Mellon, commissioned Tiffany to produce gold and silver services. Admirers of Lillian Russell ordered a sterling silver bicycle. President Lincoln purchased a seed pearl necklace for his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. And a young Franklin Roosevelt purchased a Tiffany engagement ring in 1904.
As the twentieth century progressed, Tiffany designs captured the spirit of the times, from the extravagance of the 1920s to the modernism of the 1930s and the aerodynamic age of the 1940s and 1950s. Tiffany china set the stage for White House dinners and Tiffany jewels accented the elegant clothes of the world’s most glamorous women, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Babe Paley and Diana Vreeland. Very often world-renowned jeweler Jean Schlumberger created their jewelry. Hired in 1956 by then Tiffany chairman Walter Hoving, Schlumberger’s lavish, nature-inspired jewels remain the pride of Tiffany & Co.
Throughout Tiffany’s history, the
Business and professional organizations have also called on Tiffany design expertise through Tiffany Business Sales. The most famous of these commissions is the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the National Football League Super Bowl Championship. Tiffany has had the distinction of creating this original and well-known design since the first Super Bowl in 1967.
The legendary style of Tiffany design is perhaps best represented by the annual Blue Book Collection, featuring Tiffany’s and the world’s most spectacular and glamorous jewels. Initially published in 1845, the Tiffany Blue Book was the first such catalogue to be distributed in the
Over the past two centuries, Tiffany has built an international reputation as a premier jeweler and the ultimate source of gifts for life's most cherished occasions. Whether it's a milestone in the life of a company or a family, or an individual's crowning achievement, Tiffany gifts wrapped in the signature
Tiffany Blue Box® symbolize the rich heritage and unparalleled reputation Tiffany & Co. has enjoyed as one of
TIFFANY, CHARLES LEWIS (1812-1902).
· BIRTH DATE:
· DEATH DATE:
· PLACE OF BIRTH:
· PLACE OF DEATH:
ALTERNATE NAME(S): Charles Lewis Tiffany
An American merchant.
He was born at Killingly,
There in partnership with a fellow townsman, John B. Young, on a borrowed capital of $1000, he established at 259 Broadway, next door to A. T. Stewart's, a stationery and fancy-goods store.
The venture prospered, and gradually the jewelry part of the business became the most important. In 1847 the firm began the manufacture of gold jewelry. In 1848, when as a result of widespread revolutionary movements in
At that time a branch house was established in
Mr. Tiffany was the first to adopt the department-store plan for the jewelry business and was the originator of many ideas and methods in the jewelry trade since generally adopted. The sterling silver standard 0.925 fine, adopted by him in 1851, became the recognized standard throughout the country. Mr. Tiffany was made a member of the French Legion of Honor in 1878 and received at various times decorations from other foreign rulers. He was a liberal patron of the fine arts, and did much to encourage and promote the study and knowledge of art in
Tiffany & Co Timeline Progress
1837 Tiffany & Young is established by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young as a stationary and fine goods store.
1848 Louis Comfort Tiffany was born February 18 in
1853 Tiffany and Young is renamed Tiffany &
1866 Louis studies painting under teacher George Inness.
1865-1870 Tiffany leaves school and makes three trips abroad, travelling to Europe and
1872 Marries wife, Mary Woodbridge Goddard on May 15 in
1875-1878 Experiments with new techniques in stained glass making in the glasshouses of
1870’s Later in the decade, Tiffany turns his attention away from painting and towards decorative arts and interiors.
Tiffany Studios, located on
1878 Decorates his top-floor home and studio at the Bella Apartments on
1879 Tiffany collaborates with Thomas Edison on the lighting design of the Lyceum Theater in
1880 Becomes a full member of National Academy of Design.
1880 Tiffany forms the Louis C. Tiffany Company, “Associated Artists” in partnerships with Lockwood DeForest, furniture and woodwork specialist, Candace Wheeler, textile designer and embroidery specialist, and Samuel Colman. The partnership produced all kinds of decorative items including lights, flooring, windows and furniture. Together Associated Artists decorated many famous houses and buildings, including the
The Tiffany residence, commisioned by Charles Lewis Tiffany, built by top architects McKim, Mead & White.
1881 Patents opalescent window glassmaking technique.
1883 Leaves the firm Louis C. Tiffany Company, Associated Artists to form his own art glassmaking firm.
1884 Wife, Mary Woodbridge Goddard, dies.
1885 Incorporates Tiffany Glass Company on December 1, 1885, which later became known as Tiffany Studios. The glassware was exhibited in Samuel Bing's Gallery "L'Art Nouveau" in
1885 Tiffany's father commissioned architecture firm McKim, Mead & White to construct a picturesque Romanesque Revival multifamily dwelling on the northwest corner of
1886 Marries second wife Louise Wakeman Knox on November 9, 3 children survived to adulthood.Tiffany's personal art studio inside his residence at
1890 Tiffany collaborates with artist Samuel Colman on decorating the
1893 Tiffany exhibits at the World's Columbian Exposition in
1893 Tiffany builds large workshops and furnaces in
1893 Tiffany registers Favrile as the trademark for his iridescent glass made by the furnaces at his
1895 Tiffany exhibits at the opening exhibition of Siegfried Bing's L'Art Nouveau Gallery in
1895 Produces the first commercial lamps.
The veranda at Laurelton Hall, Tiffany's
1899 Tiffany exhibits plaques and vases by the firm at the Grafton Gallery at La Société des Artists Français, introducing enamelwork and the firm’s unique style to
1900 “Associated Artists” is reorganized to form “Tiffany Studios.”
1900 He again exhibits at La Société des Artists Français and the Exposition Universelle in
1900 Elected chevalier of the Legion of Honour of France.
1902 Tiffany exhibits at the Prima Exposizione d'Arte Decorativa Moderna in
1902 Louis becomes the Artistic Director of Tiffany & Co., after his father’s death, and establishes the “Tiffany Art Jewelry” department to produce his unique jewelry and enamels.
1904 Tiffany & Co. pottery, copper enamels and jewelry is exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in
The logia from Laurelton Hall installed inside the MET Museum.
1905 Tiffany’s grand 84-room Laurelton Hall Estate was completed in the
1907 Tiffany moves his jewelry studio to Tiffany & Co's head office. His jewelry designs become more stylized.
1918 Establishes the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation for young art students at
1919 Louis C. Tiffany retires from active participation in his company, but retains title of President. He returns to his first love, oil painting.
1925 Tiffany puts his own collection of enameled decorative objects on exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
1926 Tiffany & Co. wins a gold medal at the Sesquicentennial Expo. In
1933 Louis C. Tiffany dies at the age of 85 on January 17 in
The first Tiffany retrospective show increases interest in Tiffany decorative objects.
A detailed view of the mosaic columns from the logia at Laurelton Hall.
1960 Art Nouveau show in 1960 at the
2006 A major exhibit at
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1926 Tiffany & Co. wins a gold medal at the Sesquicentennial Expo. In Philadelphia.
1933 Louis C. Tiffany dies at the age of 85 on January 17 in New York City.
The first Tiffany retrospective show increases interest in Tiffany decorative objects.
1960 Art Nouveau show in 1960 at the Museum of Modern Art further enhances Louis C. Tiffany’s legacy.
2006 A major exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on Laurelton Hall opened in November.