Tea caddy

ARTIST / MAKER: Tiffany & Co. (maker)
DATE: 1877-1891 (made)
PLACE: United States (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver with enamel beading, internal cork lid

Tiffany and Co. was established in New York in 1837 by the goldsmith and jeweller Charles Louis Tiffany and quickly became the leading silversmithing firm in the United States. Tiffany retailed and produced elegant and refined silver objects and jewellery, the designs of which later evolved, at the turn of the century, into bolder styles which employed elaborate cast ornament. The firm’s innovative designs drew inspiration from a wide range of sources, from Ancient Greek jewellery to the Old Russian style, which is imitated on this silver caddy. Tiffany’s interest in Russian design was likely influenced by the Russian enamel silverwares they imported. These were sold at the firm’s ‘Russian department’ in its New York store. This caddy’s bulbous form and enamelled decoration closely resembles those made by Russian silversmiths at this time, while the hand-hammered surface echoes Tiffany & Co’s highly successful range of Japanesque silverwares decorated with the same technique.