I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Tiffany & Co., the beloved jeweler of Holly Golightly as well as many before and after her.
I must admit, I’m not big on Tiffany’s most popular contemporary pieces: squiggly open hearts and chunky charm bracelets don’t do much for me. But I ardently admire their high jewelry and absolutely die for their older designs.
For example, this necklace by Louis Comfort Tiffany:
As I mentioned, this spectacular piece is the creation of none other than the great Louis Comfort Tiffany. (It’s his family’s “Co.”) And looking at this piece, it’s not hard to see how the company ended up with such renown. It’s dazzling.
The simplicity and the complexity all in one just blow me away. Look at the interaction of the colors, the shapes of the enamel elements, the repeating patterns and pops of color. And all on such a small piece: this necklace is only 16.25 inches long.
I had a dream about this necklace. A nightmare, actually. I dreamed that my parents gave this to me for my birthday (I wish) and then I lost it in my couch (horrifying). The entire dream was me searching through the couch and panicking, knowing that the necklace was gone and that it was my fault. Feel free to psychoanalyze me now.
This piece was made between 1914 and 1927, but I’m calling it Art Nouveau because of the style. It features a double-chain of small fancy-shaped links applied with champlevé enamel in shades of blue, green and plum, spaced at intervals by cabochon emeralds. The center of the chain is decorated with a large floral link enameled in blue and green and set with cabochon sapphires, rubies, and an emerald. The center of the chain supporting an unusual blue and plum colored sapphire drop.
Even the back of the links of the necklace are enameled to match the sapphire.
Let’s look at that sapphire for a minute. Deep blue at the top, fading to vivid purple – almost fuchsia – by the bottom. Have you ever seen anything like this in a piece of jewelry before? I haven’t. How spectacular, that Tiffany saw the promise in this exceptional gem and created this incredible chain to compliment it. Thank you, LCT. You rock my world.
This mind-blowingly beautiful necklace by Louis Comfort Tiffany was sold in Sotheby’s December 2011 auction, Jewels from the Estate of William B. Dietrich Sold to Benefit the William B. Dietrich Foundation.
Guess what? You get a bonus today. Check out this incredible brooch, also by Louis Comfort Tiffany:
This beauty was made in 1910. It centers on a black opal within a textured surround of vine leaves and fruit, decorated with blue and green enamel and accented with circular-cut sapphires and green garnets. It looks to me like the opal’s chipped, which is a shame, but it’s still a lush and memorable piece.
This brooch was listed in Sotheby’s April 2013 Jewels sale. All Images and info in this post are thanks to Sotheby’s.