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tline3open  Design transitions in Tiffany holloware

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Author Topic:   Design transitions in Tiffany holloware
Bobby G.
iconnumber posted 12-17-2000 01:44 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Over the years Tiffany seemed to reintroduce the same basic holloware forms (designs) but with different engraving and applied elements thereby seemingly introducing brand new designs. This of course is efficient resource management but might it also be alteration of the original artists/designer's work?

Is there any information about who the secondary artist/designers were and is there visual chronology of their work for comparison and study?

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Ulysses Dietz

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iconnumber posted 12-19-2000 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting question. There is a lot of information in the Tiffany archives in Parsippany, NJ, but they are not forthcoming with assistance unless it is a museum research request. However, my general sense of things is that Tiffany designers produced the shapes, castings, die-rolls, etc. Engraving was rarely, if ever conceived of as part of the original design of an object--engraving was always a separate set of designers (as was chasing, too, in large measure). Paulding Farnham would be an exception to that--he would have designed all aspects of the pieces he was directly involved with--but there were other second-strong designers, whose names are probably unknown today even to Tiffany's, who did the basic product development.

The Newark Museum has a pitcher in the "Louis XVI" design, first produced in shape in the 1860s or 70s. The version we have was made in 1901, and has an ornate applied border in a neo-rococo design that was clearly designed later on to update the piece. But the original designer is anonymous, and the form was "classic" enough to survive that long period--rarely do forms get reused over such a long stretch.

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Bobby G.
iconnumber posted 12-19-2000 09:56 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Thank you for your response. It is nice to know that Tiffany is maintaining and guarding their history. But for us regular people that enjoy the study of silver and its art forms, it is unfortunate that the information is so closely guarded.

It has been years since I have been to the Luce Study center at the MET.... a wonderful place for studying the evolution of design. I was kind of hoping Dr. Hood or someone would say that the Tiffany forms could be studied there. Does anyone know?

Thanks again.

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