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Author Topic:   Fake, or Mistake?
Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 08-04-2003 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Hello all,

The picture above appeared as part of an ad for a live (non-eBay) auction at a prominent regional auction house last month. Since the sale is over, I think we are free to discuss it. I think there is something very wrong here. What do you think, and why?

Brent

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wev
Moderator

Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 08-04-2003 08:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anything to do with the decade of the 1840s?

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June Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-04-2003 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anything to do with the period of Art Nouveau style which began in the 1890's?

Good one, Brent.

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-05-2003 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tiffany, Young and Ellis existed only from 1841 to 1853. The Art Nouveau style did not come into being until ca. 1890. Even if one called the style of the pitcher Japanesque rather than Art Nouveau, the dates still don't jibe, since the Japanesque style did not appear in silver until ca. 1869. Also, one would expect that a pitcher marked Tiffany, Young & Ellis would be made of coin silver, not sterling. So, the retailer's mark here must be spurious.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 08-06-2003 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think we all agree on the obvious; there is no way a pitcher of this style could have been made between 1841 and 1853. So, what do we think it is? Here are the choices, as I see them:
  1. Auction house made a mistake in the ad, meant to say Tiffany & Co.
  2. Genuine Tiffany Young and Ellis pitcher, with decoration added later.
  3. Genuine Aesthetic or Art Nouveau period pitcher with spurious mark added later.
  4. Complete fake; new item with fake mark.

I guess I am inclined to believe that this piece is related to the spuriously-marked flatware illustrated in another Tiffany thread a couple of months ago. What do you think?

Brent

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wev
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iconnumber posted 08-06-2003 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not know the origins of the base holloware, but the decoration appears pretty crude -- I vote for some second-hand "improvement" by parties unknown.

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Richard Kurtzman
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Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 07-10-2009 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It has been determined that this pitcher is not a fake.

See this thread: Francis W. Cooper

Here is yet another atypical example by Tiffany made in 1853. It about 9 1/2" high and it is marked Tiffany & Co 271 Broadway 222 with an m in a cartouche.



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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 07-12-2009 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't believe I missed this one lo these many years ago...This is a typical confusion of mid-1800s naturalism with late 1800s art nouveau. I have see other TY&E pieces of this ilk, decorated with cattails in a very art nouveau manner--but they are right on target for the naturalism of the 1850s. Note all the reproduction street lamps in Central Park in NYC.

These were designed originally as gas lamps in the 1850s--and they look very art nouveau.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 07-12-2009 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I certainly learned something from this thread. Thinking about it, it seems the naturalism movement in silver manifested itself most often in grapes and vines. Natural forms, but rendered more stiffly than Art Nouveau. The cattails and water lilies were used more in the aesthetic period and later. Just glancing at Richard's piece, most would automatically assume 1890s or later, but that would be incorrect.

Thanks to everyone!

Brent

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Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 07-13-2009 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's not just the naturalism--I think there's a strain of 1850s neo-gothic that can be mistaken for Art Nouveau because of its curves. Like the handles on my c. 1850s Wood & Hughes jam dish:

I think that's what's going on with Ulysses's Central Park lamps. I was thinking about yesterday this while jogging around the bridle path that goes around the Central Park Reservoir. Lots of the bridges in Central Park are ornamented with swoopy Gothic curves that look somewhat Art Nouveauish. Maybe I'll take my camera next time I go for a jog so I can show you what I mean.

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Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 07-13-2009 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry that picture wasn't so great. This picture of my jam dish might show the curves better:

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argentum1

Posts: 602
Registered: Apr 2004

iconnumber posted 08-08-2009 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for argentum1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the quality of Brent's image I would say it is impossible to tell much of anything abut it. Brent is there a source with a good quality image?

Just saw Richards post with the improved image of the pitcher and am in agreement with that post.

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Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 04-29-2010 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is another example of Tiffany naturalism dating from 1848 to 1852. This pitcher is 10 1/4" high and it is very similar in form to the one shown by Brent and the one exhibited at the at the Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 05-18-2012 11:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is yet another naturalism pitcher.

It is marked John Cox & Co who I believe is the retailer.

There is another mark: NY in an impressed square.

This is probably the makers mark or part of the makers mark.


The mark below is not from the pitcher, but is virtually the same as the one on the pitcher.

This pitcher is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.

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Fitzhugh

Posts: 136
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 08-13-2018 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fitzhugh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FYI, we occasionally see Kentucky coin silver of ca. 1850 with this "naturalistic" repousse' cattail decoration. Primarily cups, I tend to think they were retailed from Philadelphia/NY makers. Boultinghouse in his book Kentucky Silversmiths pictured one such cup sold by Danville, KY smith/jeweler John D. Akin (p. 27).

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