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Tiffany & Co

Posted by in Topical Features, Be Inspired on Apr 26, 2016 . 0 Comments.

Next in our series of vintage jewellery designers and companies is Tiffany & Co. The company was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany & John B. Young in Brooklyn in 1837 as a "stationery and fancy goods emporium"  and was originally known as " Tiffany, Young & Ellis".  When they opened the store they clearly maked all the items with prices to prevent customers from haggling which was prevalent at the time.  They also only accepted cash.

It's first mail order catalogue was published in 1845 in the US and was known as the "blue book" due to the colour of its' cover (Pantone 1837). At that time it also supplied the Union Army with its' Model 1840 Calvary Saber which was used in the American Civil War. 

By 1853 Charles Tiffany had taken control and had shortened the name to Tiffany & Co.  A new store was opened at Union Square in Lower Manhattan in 1870 which cost $500,000 with the emphasis being on diamonds and jewellery.

In 1956 a young French designer, Jean Schlumberger, was employed as a designer following his success working for Elsa Schiaparelli. His designs proved to be very popular and were worn by Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. John F Kennedy bought Jackie a Two Fruit Clip and she also wore so many of the bracelets in different colours that they became known as the "Jackie Bracelets".

One of his most famous designs was the "Bird on a Rock" brooch which contained a 128.54 carat yellow diamond. Although I can't find where the original is today, the Tiffany & Co website still have it listed as available to buy (price on application!)

Tiffany's has also made appearences in movies, from Marilyn Monroe singing about them, as well as wearing them, in the 1953 film, Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend.  The 1956 Bond film Diamonds are Forever featured one of his ladies with the name Tiffany Case, and obviously who can forget Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's?! Or the 1995 hit single by Deep Blue Something, Breakfast at Tiffany's (although anyone who's heard it may be trying to forget it!)




Last update: Apr 26, 2016


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