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Tiffany and Co Antique Sterling Silver Persian Design 'Elephant' Pitcher, NYC, NY, c. 1880

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This rare and magnificent 'Elephant Pitcher' is a work of art. Exceptional details influenced by Near East designs are executed with stunning effect. Rows of exotic foliage swirl up the bulbous body and reverse direction as it travels up the neck. Alternating designs of exotic ferns and blossoming flowers against a finely stippled background utilize these areas. This conscious design choice brings vibrant movement to the decoration of the pitcher.

The bold and highly decorative handle is a tour-de-force of exotic design and casting.  At the base, the elephant head is adorned with a headdress - details of the face, trunk, and floppy ears are wonderful.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a beautiful example of this 'Elephant Pitcher' in their collection.  To quote the Met.:

This pitcher exemplifies the technical virtuosity and creativity that characterized Tiffany & Co.’s finest silver during the 1870s and 1880s. Under the direction of Edward C. Moore (1827-1891), the silver division at Tiffany & Co. produced a diverse array of exquisitely wrought and highly original work...The elephant head draped with garlands and the surrounding panels of dahlias, lotus flowers, and other exotic vegetation reflect careful study of Indian and Near Eastern sources and attest to the masterful chasing skills of Eugene Soligny (1832-1901). [Our example may have been chased by him as well.]

This rare aesthetic movement pitcher is marked 'TIFFANY & Co/ 3612/ MAKERS/ 8129/ STERLING-SILVER/ 925-1000/ M.' It measures 8 3/8 wide by 9 inches tall and weighs 39.30, has never been monogrammed and is in excellent antique condition.