Tiffany & Co. Inkwell, ca. 1876
I've had it for 30 years. I stopped into a antique dealer that just sold furniture and books, and one day, he said, "I've got something really special. How would you like to have it?" And I said, "Well, you don't give away things. How much was it?" And he said, "$160." And I said, "Well, I've got a Civil War newspaper out in the car"-- and I knew he liked that kind of stuff-- "Would you trade?" And so he traded me for this.
This is a Tiffany and Company inkwell. They are, and they were, one of the great makers of silver. And this is a really great example. It's sterling silver and mixed metals. So you have all these little applied bugs, particularly, the one on the top is the one I really love, which is made out of copper, but then the little dots are brass. Then you have bits on the leaves that are partially copper and silver. And it's a really, very fine example. It was made under the directorship of Edward C. Moore, who was the design director at Tiffany and Company from 1873 till 1891. This design was first introduced between 1875 and 1876. And how I know that is because the number on the underside-- the first set of numbers, which begins with a four-- is an indication of the date, and the second set of numbers is an indication of the design order.
Can you tell when that was made exactly?
I would speculate that it's probably around 1876. The M in the middle is for Edward C. Moore. Edward C. Moore was very cultured, and he traveled to the Middle East, and he collected many artifacts from the Near and Far East, particularly Japanese art. And that probably influenced him in creating designs such as these. In a retail venue, this would sell for between $6,000 and $8,000.
Really? Wow. $160 trade was, wasn't a bad deal.
Civil War newspaper.
Pretty great. Well done.
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