Tiffany first displayed their exquisite enamel orchid hair and corsage ornaments at the 1889 Paris Exposition. Created by chief designer Paulding Farnham and using the enamelling technique developed by Edward C. Moore, another designer for Tiffany, these flowers earned Tiffany's the grand prize gold medal for jewellery.
Gustave Stickley, a leader of the Arts and Crafts movement in America wrote in The Studio, 'The copying of flowers in jewelry is, of course, no new thing, and many exquisite productions of this sort have been seen in our shops of late years, but the orchids of Mssrs. Tiffany are the first that we have seen, and it would be impossible to surpass them, whether for cleverness of imitation, or for perfection of workmanship.' (J. Loring, Tiffany Jewels)
Cf. J. Loring, Tiffany Jewels, New York, 1999, p. 110. Illustrated on this page is Tiffany's Orchid Brooch no. 4, a Calanthe veitchii, a cross of Calanthe vestita by Calanthe rosea, both tropical Asian orchids and the same type as lot 484.
Cf. Christie's New York, Magnificent Jewels, 12 April 2005, lot 357 sold for US$ 228,000
Cf. Christie's New York, Masterpieces of the Jeweler's Art, 11 April 2000, lot 520 sold for US$ 182,000