9 June 2016
AN ANTIQUE GOLD LION'S HEAD 'CYPRIOTE' CUFF BRACELET, BY TIFFANY & CO.
Designed as a polished gold spring hinged cuff, with two opposing lion heads, 2 1/4 ins. diameter, mounted in gold
Signed Tiffany & Co.
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Cf. C. Phillips, Bejeweled by Tiffany 1837-1987, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 138-139
Cf. J. Loring, Tiffany Jewels, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1999, p. 82
First exhibited at the 1878 Paris Exhibition, Tiffany’s collection of Cypriot style jewelry was an instant success among all visitors and journalists. These jewels were marketed and sold as exact replicas from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of ancient jewelry discovered in Cyprus in 1865, resulting in a surge of interest in ancient style jewelry on both sides of the Atlantic.
Charles Lewis Tiffany was at the forefront of capitalizing on this newfound love of jewelry from wealthy American and European collectors. Very few examples of this style of bracelet are known to exist, including one in the Tiffany archives and another in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. It is interesting to note that this particular bangle is more diminutive in scale than other know examples, making it a possible prototype of the final version that was shown to the public.
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