June 2017 Newsletter

Featured Item: Octagon Mission Lamps         Article: Charles Lewis Tiffany, King of Diamonds

Father's Day Greetings!

Every year on the third Sunday of June we celebrate International Father’s Day. It is the day we express our feelings of love and appreciation towards our dads. We salute all you fathers out there and up there.

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Our June newsletter celebrates Louis Comfort Tiffany’s father, Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Company jewelers. Mr. Tiffany put the family name on the world map making it synonymous with American luxury items. Read about this dynamic man and father in the Article section below.

This month we showcase the Octagon Mission accent lamp in a style and color that we believe all you dads will love to own. It is photographed in a tailored setting that reflects its elegant/sporty design. See it in the Featured Item section below.

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Featured Item
Note: Each item presented is a one-of-a-kind work of art available for purchase. Should any item sell, there are no duplicates.   Contact us about any similar items. 
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The Octagon Mission Lamp

Although not a tall lamp, the Octagon Mission lamp has a powerful presence. The shade is cone shaped, comprised of 8 pyramid panels. Each panel alternates from flame orange to iridized honey. The pattern is interesting with much detail of cut vertical and horizontal...

 

For more information, click here.

Article

 

CHARLES LEWIS TIFFANY, KING OF DIAMONDS

–  Father of Louis Comfort Tiffany

America’s ideal of luxury was shaped by one man, Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902). He was the founder of Tiffany & Company jewelers, NYC; a man of risk-taking, acute business smarts, of fabulous wealth and fame. He had a passion for the world’s rarest and most spectacular gemstones, earning him the moniker “the King of Diamonds”. He was also a father devoted to his wife, his children and grandchildren.

Imagine being one of Mr. Tiffany’s six children as was Louis Comfort. What a life you would live: New York City during the mid-1800s, swathed in unbelievable wealth, hobnobbing with the hoity-toity, privileged in a city notorious for its teeming immigrant poor.

 

Charles Lewis Tiffany was born in Connecticut in 1812, the sixth generation descended from Squire Humphrey Tiffany who immigrated from England and settled in 1660 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Early Years

 

As a young lad of 15 Charles helped manage his father’s small general store. By age 25 in 1837, he borrowed $1,000, (equivalent to $25,000 in 2017), from his father, Comfort T. Tiffany. With his modest capital, and with a former schoolmate, he set up a small stationery and gift shop in New York City. In the midst of the worst commercial crisis this country had experienced, their first week in business amounted to $4.89 in total sales. ($135.84 today). 

Yet, they remained in business, establishing a reputation for selling only the finest wares, specializing in Chinese and Japanese goods, Bohemian glass, French and Dresden porcelain and other curiosities. They were “on their way up”. In the early 1840s, the business named Tiffany & Company, began buying diamonds, and in 1848, (the year his third child, Louis Comfort Tiffany was born), his firm began manufacturing its own jewelry.

 

Their exquisite designs and careful workmanship at once attracted attention and brought them the highest class of custom trade including a long list of royal patrons representative of every European court. In 1850, (when Louis Comfort was two years old) Tiffany & Company opened a branch in Paris. In 1853 Tiffany & Company had established its dominance over the American silver market and soon took over the European market as well. And in 1868, (when Louis was twenty), Tiffany & Company opened a branch in London.

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An 1880s privileged couple.

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“Diamond” Earrings,

property of Lorena Calcagni.

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Diamonds were Tiffany’s specialty.

 

With Charles L. Tiffany at the head of the firm, and by his force of character, executive ability, accurate judgement and rare good taste Tiffany & Company became the foremost jewelers of this country, a business success such as few Americans have achieved. Its elite reputation continues today and as of 2013, Tiffany & Company, a multi-international corporation, is worth more than $8 billion.

PERSONAL LIFE

 

In 1839, two years after opening the gift shop, Charles Tiffany married his partner’s sister, Harriet Young, (1817-1897), with whom he had six children. Two of their children died very young, while the other four lived into the 1930s – 1950s. Their third child, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) perpetuated the Tiffany legacy of fame and fortune; a leader of the Art Nouveau movement and purveyor of luxury goods, most notably his stained-glass lamps and windows.

AN INDULGENT FATHER

In 1882 Charles Tiffany built a grand, multi-family home combining three houses in one for the entire family. It was built on the corner of Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, NYC where other mansions were beginning to rise.

Charles’ brilliantly artistic youngest son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, designed the family's 57-room mansion to be one of New York’s most beautiful and unusual works of architecture. It blended various styles, some Celtic and Viking inspired in rich colors with numerous lush fabrics and textures. It was a place of elegant social gatherings.  Sadly, the mansion was razed in 1937, four years after Louis Comfort Tiffany’s death.

Charles was disappointed when his teenage son Louis informed him he wanted to be an artist rather than join the family business. Nonetheless, Charles endorsed his son’s desire. When Louis Comfort Tiffany opened his own glass factory in 1880, it was with the help of his father’s money and connections that led this business to thrive.

LATER YEARS

In 1870 when Charles Tiffany was 58 years old it was said he was as brisk and quick as he had been in his youth. In New York City, he always dressed in a cutaway coat and high silk hat. He walked to work, and never, in his long life, missed a day through illness.

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HONORS

Replica of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s 1906 Giant Wisteria Table Lamp

by Shades of Tiffany

Charles Lewis Tiffany won the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition and was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1878. He was a recipient from the Czar of Russia of the Gold Medal, a rare distinction. He was a patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and one of the founders of the New York Society of Fine Arts. He was also a patron of the sciences and a member of the American Geographical Society, and the New York Historical Society, active in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History.

 

His financial strength and sound business judgement made him a director of the Bank of the Metropolis, Pacific Bank, American Surety Company, and State Trust Company. He was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

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“Diamond” Vintage Jewelry Collection, property of Lorena Calcagni  Earrings, brooch, bracelet.

Charles Lewis Tiffany left an estate of $35 million at the time of his death at age 90 in 1902 (today’s value of $970 BILLION). But his most lasting achievement is of the founding of Tiffany & Co., an American institution that still stands for the highest quality and legendary style throughout the world.