Tiffany & Co. Aesthetic Movement Antique Sterling Silver Japonesque Flask, c. 1873
An outstanding example of Tiffany's early Japanese style designs of the aesthetic movement, this flask features dramatic bright-cut scenes of cranes in a Japanese style. One side features two cranes feeding at the base of a large cliff. The other side has these two birds in flight amongst exotic trees. Around the edge is a band of fylfot, or reverse swastika, an ancient Chinese and Japanese symbol of good luck and good health. The flask was completely gilded on a matte surface and then engraved to give the sterling and gold contrast. The cap has a wonderfully engraved 'IU' monogram in the form of trees. Another interesting element is the detachable cup which separates at the midpoint from the sterling body.
Wonderful designs and expert engraving, along with the contrast between the gilt surfaces and the patinated engraved details, create a striking visual impact.
This stunning piece measures 5.5 inches high by 3.5 inches wide and weighs 9.95 troy ounces. It is in fairly good condition with a couple small dings and some scratches and abrasions to the surface. However, its gilding is almost entirely intact and it retains its arresting visual power. The main body is marked ''TIFFANY & Co/M/STERLING SILVER/2811/6406'.