Tiffany & Co. History

The 1830s in New York City were a time of dynamic growth, extravagant tastes and golden opportunity for anyone with a little capital and an abundance of imagination. In 1837, New York became the proving ground for twenty-five-year-old Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young, who opened a “stationery and fancy goods” store with a $1,000 advance from Tiffany's father.

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 Paris Exposition Universelle in 1867. The company was awarded the grand prize for silver craftsmanship, the first time that an American design house had been so honored by a foreign jury. Tiffany was the first American company to employ the 925/1000 standard of silver purity. Largely through the efforts of Charles Lewis Tiffany, this ratio was adopted by the United States Congress as the American sterling silver standard.

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 America's premier purveyor of jewels and timepieces as well as luxury table, personal, and household accessories. At the turn of the 20th century the company had more than one thousand employees and branches in London, Paris, and Geneva.

In 1878 Tiffany acquired one of the world's largest and finest fancy yellow diamonds from the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa. Under the guidance of Tiffany's eminent gemologist, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, the diamond was cut from 287.42 carats to 128.54 carats with 82 facets (most brilliant-cut diamonds have only 58), which gave the stone its legendary fire and brilliance. Designated the Tiffany Diamond, the stone became an exemplar of Tiffany craftsmanship.

In 1886 Tiffany introduced the engagement ring as we know it today—the Tiffany® Settingan 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.

During New York’s Gilded Age, Tiffany was prospering as never before. At the same time, the world had embarked on the Age of Expositions, the era of show-stopping extravaganzas that took place in the last decades of the 19th century and into the 20th in Paris, Chicago, Buffalo and St. Louis. At every venue, Tiffany won the highest honors and recognition as the undisputed leader in the world of jewels. The company’s exhibit at the 1889 Paris fair was heralded as “the most extraordinary collection of jewels ever produced by an American jewelry house.” Tiffany produced an equally praiseworthy collection for the 1900 Paris fair, along with magnificent silver pieces based on Native American pottery and basket designs. The unprecedented commendation and number of awards bestowed on the jeweler led to Tiffany’s appointment as Imperial Jeweler and Royal Jeweler to the crowned heads of Europe,

as well as the Ottoman Emperor and the Czar and Czarina of Russia.

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 America’s leading designer was well established by 1882, when President Chester Arthur invited him to redecorate the White House. By 1900 the younger Tiffany was a world leader in the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements. The famed artist created a remarkable range of designs, from technically brilliant leaded glass to colorful Tiffany favrile glass, and enameled and painterly jewels based on American plants and flowers.

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 United States and foreign governments have called upon the company to create special commissions. Among them are the Congressional Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award; and the 1885 redesign of the Great Seal of the United States, which can be seen on official government documents as well as on the one-dollar bill.


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 U.S. Today’s version showcases the elite of diamonds and colored gemstones in custom-designed settings, crafted with time-honored jewelry techniques and inspired by jewels in the Tiffany & Co. Archives.


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 America's great institutions.

TIFFANY, CHARLES LEWIS (1812-1902).

· NAME: Charles Lewis Tiffany

· OCCUPATION: Artist

· BIRTH DATE: 1812

· DEATH DATE: 1902

· PLACE OF BIRTH: Killingly ,Connecticut

· PLACE OF DEATH: New York City, New York

ALTERNATE NAME(S): Charles Lewis Tiffany

An American merchant.

He was born at Killingly, Conn., and after receiving an academic education at Plainfield Academy, and serving an apprenticeship in a cotton manufactory, he removed to New York City in 1837.

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 Europe the price of diamonds felt one-half, Mr. Tiffany sent word to his partner. who was then in Paris, to buy all the diamonds he could. This was done; the house reaped a large fortune and became one of the principal firms of diamond merchants in the world. Several times rapidly increasing business necessitated moving farther up town and the firm name was changed somewhat, finally becoming Tiffany & Co. in 1851.

At that time a branch house was established in Paris. During the Civil War Mr. Tiffany placed his store and resources at the disposal of the government, and it became for a time one of the principal depots of military supplies. During the draft riots (q.v.) in 1863 the store was barricaded and the clerks were armed in preparation for a threatened attack of the mob. In 1868 the firm was incorporated and in 1870 removed to a specially constructed building on Union Square. At that time, in addition to the Paris branch, a branch house was maintained in London, and an office and watch factory in Geneva, Switzerland, and the house took rank as the leading importers of gems and works of art as well as the chief manufacturing jewelers in America. In 1905 the firm removed to a splendid new building at Fifth Avenue and Thirty-seventh Street.

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 America.


Tiffany & Co Timeline Progress

Louis C. <a href='/search-antiques.asp/art-nouveau-antique-estate/tiffany'>Tiffany</a> 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 New York City to Charles Lewis Tiffany and Harriet Olivia Avery Young.

1853 Tiffany and Young is renamed Tiffany & Co.

1866 Louis studies painting under teacher George Inness.

1865-1870 Tiffany leaves school and makes three trips abroad, travelling to Europe and North Africa, with painter R. Swain Gifford. Tiffany was exposed to new different cultural and artistic influences and derived inspiration for the painting “Snake Charmer at Tangier, Africa” exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

1872 Marries wife, Mary Woodbridge Goddard on May 15 in Norwich, CT. Has 4 children with Mary, 3 survive to adulthood.

1875-1878 Experiments with new techniques in stained glass making in the glasshouses of Brooklyn.

1870’s Later in the decade, Tiffany turns his attention away from painting and towards decorative arts and interiors.

Tiffany Studios, located on Madison and 45th Street in New York City.

1878 Decorates his top-floor home and studio at the Bella Apartments on 48 East 26th Street in New York City. The leaded-glass window from the entrance hall, one of his earliest windows, illustrates an unconventional use of glass, including experimental opalescent, marbleized, and confetti-type glass, as well as crown glass and rough-cut "jewels."

Tiffany Studios, located on Madison and 45th Street in New York City.

1879 Tiffany collaborates with Thomas Edison on the lighting design of the Lyceum Theater in New York, the first ever theater to have electric illumination. The light bulb was the impetus for the creation of the famous Tiffany Studioslamps, as their beauty was enhanced by the glow of electric bulbs.

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 Hartford home of Mark Twain and the Veterans' Room of the Regiment Armory in New York.

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.

The Tiffany residence, commisioned by Charles Lewis Tiffany, built by top architects McKim, Mead & White.

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 Paris.

1885 Tiffany's father commissioned architecture firm McKim, Mead & White to construct a picturesque Romanesque Revival multifamily dwelling on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Madison Avenue in New York. Louis and his family occupy the top two floors, and he decorates his famous exotic studio, used for his artistic creations and frequent social gatherings.



Tiffany's personal art studio inside his residence at 72nd Street and Madison Avenue.1886 Marries second wife Louise Wakeman Knox on November 9, 3 children survived to adulthood.Tiffany's personal art studio inside his residence at 72nd Street and Madison Avenue.

1890 Tiffany collaborates with artist Samuel Colman on decorating the 5th Avenue home of Louisine and Henry Osborne, bringing together a wide range of disparate objects and styles to outstanding effect.

1893 Tiffany exhibits at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. His displays included a complete chapel with leaded glass windows, now housed at the Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida.

1893 Tiffany builds large workshops and furnaces in Corona, Queens, New York with Arthur Nash, a skilled glassworker from Stourbridge, England. Nash’s furnaces developed a method whereby different colors were blended together in the molten state, achieving subtle effects of shading and texture.


The veranda at Laurelton Hall, Tiffany's Long Island country <a href='/search-antiques.asp/art-nouveau-antique-estate/estate'>estate</a>.

1893 Tiffany registers Favrile as the trademark for his iridescent glass made by the furnaces at his Corona workshops.

1895 Tiffany exhibits at the opening exhibition of Siegfried Bing's L'Art Nouveau Gallery in Paris where work by Lalique is also on display.

1895 Produces the first commercial lamps.

1898 Tiffany and his studios turned toward lighting and lamps. The first Tiffany lamp with a heavy bronze base is introduced. Patterns include the nautilus, dragonfly and Tyler scroll.

The veranda at Laurelton Hall, Tiffany's Long Island country estate.

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 London.

1900 “Associated Artists” is reorganized to form “Tiffany Studios.”

1900 He again exhibits at La Société des Artists Français and the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where he showed around 100 pieces of blown Favrile glass, leaded glass windows and a leaded glass screen. Wins Gold medal for applied arts.

1900 Elected chevalier of the Legion of Honour of France.

1902 Tiffany exhibits at the Prima Exposizione d'Arte Decorativa Moderna in Turin, Italy.

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 St. Louis. The pottery, referencing plant forms, was greatly influenced by the work of European Art Nouveau designers, particularly Danish potters Bing and Grøndahl that he had seen in Paris.

The logia from Laurelton Hall installed inside the MET Museum.The logia from Laurelton Hall installed inside the MET Museum.

1905 Tiffany’s grand 84-room Laurelton Hall Estate was completed in the village of Laurel Hollow, Long Island. Showcasing the peak of Tiffany’s design skill in a variety of mediums, the estate was donated to his foundation for art students. It was sadly destroyed by fire in 1957.

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 Oyster Bay.

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.

A detailed view of the mosaic columns from the logia at Laurelton Hall.

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.

A detailed view of the mosaic columns from the logia at Laurelton Hall.

1958

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.

Reference:

1) Biography

2) Timeline progress.

3) http://www.dromo.info/tiffanybio.htm

4) Charles Lewis Tiffany

5) tiffany blue box


ight: 0� F*m r �� �t� m: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; font-size: small; ">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 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.

A detailed view of the mosaic columns from the logia at Laurelton Hall.

A detailed view of the mosaic columns from the logia at Laurelton Hall.

1958

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.

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