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Author Topic:   Another Tiffany Silver Question

Posts: 69
Registered: Nov 2007

iconnumber posted 09-28-2009 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nyoman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I hope the generous members of this board can indulge me with their thoughtful and informative insights regarding another piece of Tiffany silver I have.

This footed dish is hard for me to classify in terms of its style. I'm inclined to call it Japanesque because the motif of the bowl appears to me to be a chrysanthemum, but the base almost appears like it was made of reeds, which inclines me to also think of arts and crafts? Or, in order to satisfy my urge to classify it, is the overall general term, aesthetic movement most appropriate? The pattern number, 6097 would indicate a date of 1880 or later.

It's a small dish being only about 6 inches in diameter, and while I find the engraved monogram to be somewhat incongruous by virtue of its style, I personally find this little dish to be most pleasing to the eye.

A point that I find to be simply brilliant is well illustrated in the second photograph down from the top. The manner in which the reeded base reflects on the underside of the fluted bowl gives the illusion that the underside is engraved, but of course, this is only the distortion of the reflection. I suppose one can only wonder if this illusion was intentional by the designer, but isn't it interesting how that plays with the eye?

Any opinions you would care to offer about this unusual Tiffany piece will be most appreciated.

Many thanks in advance!

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Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 09-29-2009 06:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I might go along with calling it Japanese style. Japan opened its borders to the western world in 1858 and for several decades afterwards there was a fascination with Japanese design in the U.S. and western Europe. It would make sense for Tiffany to make some silver in this influence since it was considered stylish at the time. The footed dish design is very common in Japanese ceramics of the era, as is the chrysanthemum.

I would not call this arts and crafts, which is a style that started at about that same time. The reason is arts and crafts was a style that was based on a strong reaction by a group of designers against machine made objects. Arts and crafts is also not typically associated with objects made from precious metals or jewels. More typical metals seen in arts and crafts metalwork are copper and bronze rather than silver or gold. Also, a typical indicator of most arts and crafts objects is the maker leaves clear evidence of the handwork that went into the object such as leaving hammer marks on the metal, or leaving evidence of hand burnishing of the metal, or hand painting designs with enamels and such.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 09-29-2009).]

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Ulysses Dietz

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 09-30-2009 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a remarkable little piece--was it drop stamped, or were all those flutes and reeds chased (which raises it to a whole different level of craft). It does call to mind the Japanese imperial crest of the crysanthemum, and could be inspired by either porcelain or lacquer footed dishes.

I'd argue with Kimo, however,that arts and crafts is not a style, but a philosophical approach to manufacture. It is only a style because curators and collectors have made it into a style. Gustav Stickley regularly promoted designers like Paulding Farnham, as fulfilling his arts and crafts ideals in his Craftsman Magazine. So, my take would be,if this is hand chased, rather than drop stamped, it could be arts and crafts, philosophically...although clearly Japanesque. Tiffany's hammered japanesque silver is, to me, fully part of the arts and crafts movement as it began in America. By the way, do the numbers reveal anything useful about the dating of the piece?

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Posts: 69
Registered: Nov 2007

iconnumber posted 10-01-2009 04:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nyoman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I’m fairly certain it’s hand chassed Mr. Dietz. If you look carefully at the last photo, a detail of the footed base, you can notice slight irregularities of the size of each “reed” or flute. I would assume that if machine stamped or drop stamped as you say, there would be almost perfect symmetry?

Yes, the pattern number is 6097 which I understand would indicate a date of 1880 or later. If I understand correctly, the order numbers, in this case, 7086 are impossible to determine anything without consulting Tiffany, (and also paying a fee).

Many thanks to you Mr. Dietz and to Kimo for your valuable and insightful input.

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Posts: 336
Registered: Jan 2005

iconnumber posted 10-01-2009 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Then BOOM, the photo's gone? Sorry I missed it.

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Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 10-01-2009 08:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photo was down when I tried earlier, but it's showing up again for me now. Maybe the server was busy.

Beautiful piece.

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