Tiffany & Co. Antique Sterling Silver and Glass Container, NYC, NY, c. 1882
The thick, heavy rock crystal cut glass has wonderful cut aesthetic, wavy stems traveling up the oval body with a couple of leaves looping downward at the top. The sterling hinged mount has a wavy design along its upper and bottom edge. The inside rim is fitted with a hinged cover that screws into its platform with a fairly airtight seal. The hinged cover is engraved 'M. MacM''.
Rock crystal cut glass objects with Tiffany & Co. sterling mounts are extremely rare. We have only once seen (and sold) a similar object. We speculated that it might have been a cheroot case, although it may have had another function. This example differs in that the glass is cut with a different pattern and has a different interior with the hinged cover. This could be a container for powder, lip salve, or perfume - referenced in Tiffany Silver by Carpenter as 'Odor Bottles' (see p. 114).
According to Magnificent Tiffany Silver by John Loring, 'In this period (beginning in 1882) there is a collaboration between Tiffany & Co. and the leading English glasshouse of Thomas Webb and Sons.' Loring further states, 'This began a successful design and business relationship between Webb's and Tiffany's, which would continue through the 1880's'. (See page 157.)
Although the glass is not signed, it is almost certainly Webb glass. Webb developed the rock crystal cutting style after winning their numerous awards at the 1878 World's Fair (where Tiffany & Co. also won their share of prizes). This appears to be a very early example of their collaboration.
This highly unusual case is marked twice on the hinged cover. On the underside it is marked 'TIFFANY & Co/ m/ STERLING' with the pattern/model numbers '6969/6059'. The other case numbers were '6969/6060'. It is marked on the side of the hinged cover 'TIFFANY & Co/ M/ STERLING. It measures just shy of 5 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by just shy of 2 inches deep and is in excellent condition.
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