Silver by Tiffany & Co. and Paul Revere Highlight Christie's American Silver Sale
Date: 11 Jan 2009 | | Views: 3734
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s Important American Silver sale on January 23 is led by a group of exemplary Tiffany & Co. silver, from the classical revival styles of the 1860s to the Art Deco designs of the 1930s. A selection of works by American patriot and silversmith Paul Revere includes a soup ladle that the master silversmith crafted for himself and his wife, and engraved with their initials, PRR.
The sale’s outstanding selection of Tiffany & Co. illustrates the firm’s craftsmanship and design innovations of the 19th and 20th centuries. A dramatic mirrored centerpiece of the 1870s is grand in scale and elaborately designed, and was suited to the formal dining customs of the day (estimate: $70,000-100,000). An example of an extraordinary presentation piece of the late 19th century is The Meiggs Testimonial, which celebrated the railway engineering marvel that traversed the Andes (estimate: $50,000-70,000).
An avant-garde jewel-like inkstand from the 1880s shows the inspiration of Japanese metalwork, reflecting American collectors’ fascination with the exoticism of the Far East (estimate: $30,000-50,000). At the turn of the century, this Eastern aesthetic met with the burgeoning Art Nouveau movement and resulted in new designs like a tour-de-force ivory tankard carved with the scene of a tiger hunt (estimate: $200,000-300,000). An incredibly rare cigar box is stylistically important for its interpretation of the Art Deco style in the silver medium (estimate: $8,000-12,000).
The sale also features a special group of silver from Paul Revere, one of the most beloved patriots of the American Revolution and one of Boston's most skilled silversmiths. Among the four lots offered is very rare discovery — a soup ladle belonging to Revere himself. Monogrammed with the initials “PRR” for Paul and Rachel Revere, it was intended for the family’s own use and is documented in the inventory of Revere’s estate in 1818 (estimate: $80,000-120,000).
Other sale highlights include a grouping of whimsical silvermounted copper hollowware by Joseph Heinrich, an important arts-and-crafts metal smith of the early 20th century. Heinrich employed a distinctly American style, with hammered surfaces and stitch-form borders, ornamented with bucolic animal forms, as shown in a water pitcher and six mugs (estimate: $7,000-10,000).