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A FINE AMERICAN SILVER AND MIXED-METAL TRAY
A FINE AMERICAN SILVER AND MIXED-METAL TRAY

MARK OF TIFFANY & CO., NEW YORK, CIRCA 1880

Details
A FINE AMERICAN SILVER AND MIXED-METAL TRAY
MARK OF TIFFANY & CO., NEW YORK, CIRCA 1880
Shaped rectangular, set on four scroll cloud feet, the hand-hammered surface inset with a copper and gold-winged dragonfly and a copper tomato vine, the side applied with a copper beetle, marked under base
17 in. (43.2 cm.) long; 61 oz. (1,897 gr.) gross weight
Provenance
Christie's, New York, 18 January 2001, lot 295

Condition report

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Lot Essay

For the Paris Exposition of 1878, Tiffany & Co. created an interpretation of Japanese aesthetic principles in silver that caused an international sensation and propelled the American firm to the forefront of the market. Edward Moore, director of Tiffany's silver department, rejected the grandiose historical revival styles that were the prevailing style in Europe and instead developed highly original works based on simple, unpretentious, natural subjects. He adopted the Japanese techniques of applying colored alloys and gold to "paint pictures in silver," and this scenic approach is well illustrated on the present tray. He also very ingeniously integrated the form and the ornament, resulting in entirely novel shapes for traditional objects such as coffeepots, pitchers, and candlesticks (see the following lot).
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