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tline3open  Tiffany sterling silver bicycles

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Author Topic:   Tiffany sterling silver bicycles
jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 03-14-2008 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello all!

Does anyone have the Tiffany Blue book for 1897? I read where there was a reference to them selling bicycles in that cataloge. Were they made of sterling also? I know that a sterling life size one was made for Lillian Russell. I wonder where that one is too. I have searched the web all day.

Thank you in advance for any info.
Jersey

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Richard Kurtzman
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Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 03-17-2008 12:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From page 23 of the 1897 Tiffany Blue Book:

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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 03-17-2008 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Richard!
Thank you so much! That is incredible. I wonder if anyone still has one. What is also curious is the fact that the ladies bikes were considerably more.
Enjoy the day!

Jersey

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 03-17-2008 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember seeing one in a museum, but it was many years ago and I can't remember where. Possibly the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, as I remember they had a nice bicycle display....

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-17-2008 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The bike frames themselves are not sterling, just the fittings described in Richard's catalog page. I have had sterling bicycle accessories before (though not by Tiffany). There must be at least a few Victorian bicycles out there fitted with tarnished Tiffany silver accessories, of which the owners are none the wiser... Gives me something new to look for when I go to shows and flea markets.

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Richard Kurtzman
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Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 06-28-2008 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Below is a photo pictured in Carpenter's TIFFANY SILVER of a silver bicycle designed by Tiffany & Co. for Lillian Russell.
Carpenter also quotes this story from the December 9, 1895 edition of a San Francisco newspaper:
    ELEVATING THE BICYCLE

    A long felt want in the Bicycle line is about to be supplied in New York. Society cannot refrain from biking, but it has been recognized as a grievance that it is practically impossible to buy a bicycle costing over $125.00. This gives the sport an air of cheapness that galls the souls of the exclusive who can afford to buy diamonds and Dukes for their daughters. The heiress of the House of Astorbilt takes a spin in the park of her wheel, and there is nothing to distinguish her from a typewriter out for a holiday, and a holiday may have the advantage in point of attractiveness.

    At last Tiffany has come to the rescue. As a starter he has designed a bicycle, decorated in silver and ivory.

    The handlebars, pedal bars and pedals, the bars holding the seat, and the rivet and bolt heads, have been heavily plated with silver. The handlebars are of carved ivory, partly encased in chased silver. All the joints of the frame are encased in solid silver, etched and chased in repousse style. On the saddle are dainty silver ornaments, with shell-scroll work in the style of Louis Quinze. To go with this is a searchlight lantern which will be ornamented with chased silver. The entire work in silver was done by hand.

    This is the gentleman's wheel. The lady's wheel to match is to be much more elaborate. "The frame will be entirely covered with chased silver, while the lantern will probably be further decorated with precious stones."

    These machines are to be the entering wedge of luxury. Before the opening of the next season, purchasers will have their choice of machines, for which designs are now being prepared, with ornamentation of gold and gems. Mounted on a wheel of this description, there is every reason to believe that a rider can secure general recognition of the public that he has money to burn, whatever his deficiencies in gray matter. Society is looking forward to the new bikes with enthusiasm. They are also hopefully regarded by the enterprising fraternity of bicycle thieves.


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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 07-10-2008 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Richard!

Now that's a bike!

Wonder what it might cost to make now?

Jersey

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