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).