Tiffany & Co. Mary Jane Morgan Chrysanthemum Sterling Plateau, NYC, NY, c. 1879
Spectacular chrysanthemums and dense foliage decorate the undulating exterior of the frame. Robust chrysanthemum blossoms create the feet which rest on oval pads. The interior of the sterling frame, decorated with reeding, conforms to the overall shape as does the original mirror. Underneath, the mirror of this unique creation is supported by a brass plate secured in place with 16 original brass screws. The brass is artistically engraved with Mary Jane Morgan's famous 'MJM' monogram.
Unique and important, this massive plateau was custom made for one of Tiffany's best customers in 1880, Mary Jane Morgan. The auction sale of Mary Jane Morgan's vast and rare collections started on March 3rd, 1886, and lasted for 12 days. Lot 712 was this stupendous plateau which sold in 1886 for $365.00. (1) Knowing how important and valuable these pieces were, Charles Tiffany actively bid on - and purchased many of - the Tiffany & Co. masterpieces in the Morgan sale. (2) We do not know if he bought this plateau.
The pattern number suggests a design date of 1879, a year before the Chrysanthemum pattern was patented by Tiffany & Co. designer and lead silversmith, Charles Grosjean. Mary Jane Morgan owned a large quantity of Chrysanthemum pattern holloware and flatware, so she was purchasing the very first pieces ever made - including this plateau.
This plateau is one of the finest pieces of Chrysanthemum pattern holloware ever made.
Provenance: Mary Jane Morgan
Literature: Priced Catalogue Of The Art Collection Formed By The Late Mrs. Mary Jane Morgan
This magnificent plateau is marked under one of the pad feet. TIFFANY & Co/ 5632 MAKERS 1650/ STERLING-SILVER/ 925-1000/ M.' It measures 26.5 inches long by 16.5 inches wide by just under 3 inches high and is in excellent antique condition.
Priced Catalogue Of The Art Collection Formed By The Late Mrs. Mary Jane Morgan, (New York: The American Art Galleries, 1886), p.141.
"The Growth of Art Appreciation", The Jeweler's Circular and Horological Review, April 1886, p 71.
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