By Mary Mullaj
A new ultimate gift book traces the fascinating history of taste as seen through the designs of tastemaker Tiffany & Co.
Entitled Tiffany Style: 170 Years of Design, design director John Loring (who has written many books on Tiffany & Co. as well as on design and style) gathers for the first time in one volume the most renowned and memorable pieces produced by the company, from lamps to tea sets to jewelry and beyond. The 255 drool-worthy color illustrations are composed of photographs and sketches are taken from Tiffany’s archives, and many of the best designers of the past 170 years are represented.
Tiffany, synonomous with elegant, sophisticated design and extravagant yet tasteful luxury, has been dictating style since its founding as a “stationary and fancy goods” emporium in 1837. Charles Lewis Tiffany built his enterprise on a solid foundation of quality, craftsmanship, and one governing prinicple: good design is good business. The book traces the history of the company, from it’s founding to New York’s gilded age, to the art deco period, to the World’s Fairs of 1939-40, to today. The book devotes ample space to the intriguing story of royal gems purchased from aristocrats fleeing the chaos following King Louis Philippe’s abdication and eagerly acquired by America’s new millionaires. Ends with today’s brilliant interpreters of Tiffany’s design such as Frank Gehry and Paloma Picasso and the jeweler’s named diamonds, including the patented Lucida diamond cut and brilliant-cut Novo diamond. The company has without a doubt greatly influenced American art and design, and has come to be viewed as a an icon of quintessential American style.