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    Sale 2132

    Important American Silver

    23 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 86

    A RARE SILVER MIRROR PLATEAU CENTERPIECE

    MARK OF TIFFANY & CO., NEW YORK, CIRCA 1870, DESIGN ATTRIBUTED TO JAMES H. WHITEHOUSE

    Price Realised  

    A RARE SILVER MIRROR PLATEAU CENTERPIECE
    MARK OF TIFFANY & CO., NEW YORK, CIRCA 1870, DESIGN ATTRIBUTED TO JAMES H. WHITEHOUSE
    Set on eight bird's-claw and acroteria feet, the base shaped astragal with ovolo and rosette medallion border, centering an oval mirror, two sides set with putti wielding sickles and wheat stalks, each end set with putti terms supporting three leaf-clad scrolling branches, each set with a removable circular dish, with ovolo and rosette medallion borders and grape leaves at intervals, marked on base and the reverse of each dish, the base marked 2960/804, the dishes marked 2460/6832.
    48 in. long; 553 oz. gross weight


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    The mirror plateau centerpiece is attributed to Tiffany's designer, James H. Whitehouse, on the basis of the cast putti herms, which also are incorporated in Whitehouse's Meiggs Testimonial (lot 83). In addition, the centerpiece's architectural ornament, classical vocabulary and great attention to detail are all hallmarks of Whitehouse's style.

    During his 44-year career at Tiffany & Co., Whitehouse produced many of the firm's most important works. Indeed, the National Cyclopedia of American Biography said "that nearly every prominent art-piece in silverware and otherwise, produced by Tiffany & Co., has been conceived by Mr. Whitehouse."

    Whitehouse's most accomplished works include the Great Seal of the United States (1884), known to all as depicted on the dollar bill, the William Cullen Bryant vase (1876), now in Metropolitan Museum, and the Bartholdi Testimonial (1886) , given to the Statue of Liberty sculptor, now in Musée Bartholdi.

    (see John Loring, Magnificent Tiffany Silver, 2001, pp. 75-89).

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A MIDWESTERN COLLECTOR