Tiffany & Co.

A Set of Eighteen Silver-Gilt Plates Bearing the Vanderbilt Coat of Arms

REF No.B64580 New York, Circa 1895.

Diameter: 24 cm / 9 inches
A Highly Important Set of Eighteen Silver Gilt Plates by Tiffany & Co. bearing the Vanderbilt Coat of Arms.

The plates are of circular form with fluted rims, the borders engraved with the Vanderbilt Coat of Arms and stamped to the reverse with hallmarks for Tiffany & Co., New York. The plates are numbered to the reverse ‘14004-4529’ (11 plates), ‘14004-4557’ (3 plates), ‘14004-2212’ (3 plates), and ‘14004-7090’ (1 plate).

The Vanderbilt family was at the forefront of American society, and as such entertained in luxurious fashion. They dominated what has come to be known as the 'Gilded Age', a period when Vanderbilt men were the merchant princes of America through prominence in business and as leading patrons of the arts.

As one of America's wealthiest and most prominent families at the time, the Vanderbilts frequented Tiffany's with enthusiasm. Not only jewellery and decorative objects were acquired but also frequently special commissions were ordered. Both William K. Vanderbilt and Cornelius Vanderbilt having bespoke patterns for Tiffany flatware produced for them for their New York homes.

These specially commissioned plates are emblazoned with the Vanderbilt family crest, the acorn and oak leaf heraldry device, which was designed by Mrs. Cornelius II (Alice Claypoole Gwynne Vanderbilt) to counteract the nouveaux riche sentiment the Vanderbilts initially received from more established New York families. The acorn and oak leaf motif, symbolising the family's strength and endurance, appears throughout the Vanderbilt family properties, represented on everything from wall panelling to decorative and even functional items.

Approx. 305 troy oz
Patterson, E, Jerry; The Vanderbilts, Harry N. Abrahams, New York 1989.
Artist Biography:
Charles Lewis Tiffany and John Young founded Tiffany & Co. in New York in 1837. Tiffany's tireless search for one of a kind objects charmed and fascinated the wealthy of New York from the outset. Joined by his son Louis Comfort Tiffany, Tiffany & Co. were to become America's pre-eminent house of design and the world's premier jeweller at the end of the Nineteenth Century. By 1867 Tiffany & Co. were recognised globally, winning the highly coveted Award of Merit at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1867. This was the first time an American company had been recognized by a European jury.