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Author Topic:   Interesting Tiffany Piece
Richard Kurtzman

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am posting this at the request of jersey. This is one of her interesting pieces.

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
See related posts/threads:

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Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even though I have looked at several other pen wipes on the site (thanks to Scott) the owl seems particularly pertinent to the task of a pen wipe. In the late 1800's owls were very popular. They often were depicted on book ends and other things. Books were finally able to be offered to the upper middle classes other then just the elite. Home libraries grew and many people wished to be writers. Writing for writings sake instead of just communication became quite popular. This little owl fits perfectly into the whole scenario. They always denoted intelligence, curiosity and learnedness. Does anyone know why?

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Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The owl was the animal personification of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. The association is linked to the owl's flying in the night following the day; read metaphorically, wisdom only comes after the fact.

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Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Greek statues of Athena, the equivilent of Minerva, frequently show her with an owl perched on her shoulder.

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Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Richard!

Thank you again for posting my Tiffany pen wipe.

Thanks also to Wev, Dale, & outwest for your very interesting comments regarding it's position in the writing world. Even though in the back of my mind "wise old owl" was there, I never connected it to writing. My one son is a writer of sorts so this may be his "inheritance". I just love the piece, he is so very cute.

What I found most interesting is the original (?) chamois for the most part being intact after all these years. He appears to have been well cared for.

I would still like to know if there are any books or old Tiffany catalogs that may indicate if other animals were made for pen wipes, (aside from the rabbit).

Thanks again.

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 04-24-2006 10:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tiffany published pocket-sized catalogues (called "Blue Books") every year or every 2 years from 1876 to the 1920s. In many of these, they listed "Pen Wipers: leather." In the 1908 and 1910 Blue Books, these were priced as follows: with silver-plated mountings ($2.75 to 4.50), with gold-plated mountings ($3.50 to 5.50) and with silver mountings ($4 to ll)." But they never listed the form/subject of the metal part.

[This message has been edited by William Hood (edited 04-25-2006).]

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Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 05-02-2006 12:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Hood, thank you .....I too have been out of the loop so to speak. I wonder why Tiffany did not list the "animals" as such. None the less I love my Owl!

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Ulysses Dietz

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 05-04-2006 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just as a side note, all of Tiffany's plated goods were made in one of their two factories in Newark, NJ; the first having been established in 1877 on Mulberry St., the second, the "Forest Hill Works" opening in 1894. William Shaw managed the plating works, having opened a very short-lived electroplating plant for Tiffany in--of all places--Providence, RI.

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