Tiffany & Co. Antique Sterling Silver Figural Ice Bowl, New York City, NY, 1877
Featuring cast walruses lounging at opposing ends of the base, this is one of the most impressive and striking ice bowls we have ever seen. Ice floes jut upward and outward on the other sides of the base, and hanging icicles border the entire base to complete this arctic scene.
The large, hammered bowl has applied branches with hanging pine cones. Acid etching creates pine needles around the bowl, with applied branches and pine cones seamlessly incorporated into the design, complementing the arctic theme. Tiffany & Co. also use pine cone and needle motifs on the famous Magnolia Vase, as noted in the outstanding book Collecting Inspiration, symbolizing the Northern parts of North America. (1)
Brilliant honeycomb hammering accentuates the bowl and conical column. A beautifully pierced strainer to drain water from melting ice fits into the bowl, concealing a hollow reservoir, the column interior. A lovely gilt band with panels of Beaux-Arts decoration and a couple of rosettes decorate the column.
This unique ice bowl was designed by one of Tiffany's greatest designers, Eugene J. Soligny. Soligny was born in Paris in 1832 and started working at Tiffany & Co. in the late 1850s, already an accomplished and "highly talented young designer, sculptor, and silver chaser...." (2) In 1890, Soligny became foreman of Tiffany's chasing department and was in charge of the production of silver for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. (3)"Eugene Soligny died in Brooklyn on January 10, 1901, at the age of sixty-eight. No other silversmith in Tiffany's history has had his work held in such high regard as to be allowed to place his signature on Tiffany silver." (4)
Symbols of Excellence: The Victor Niederhoffer Collection of Trophy and Presentation Silver, Sotheby's, New York, December 15, 1998, lot 103. Important Americana, Sotheby's, New York, January 25-26, 2013, lot 194. Private Collection. Heritage Auctions, November 15, 2022, lot 74057
John Loring, Magnificent Tiffany Silver
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2017 - 2021.
This stunning work is marked 'TIFFANY & Co/ 4159 MAKERS 2460/ STERLING-SILVER/ 925-1000/ M/ 981.' The bowl measures 11 inches in diameter, stands 9.5 inches tall, weighs 93 troy ounces, and is in excellent antique condition.
Medill Harvey, ed., Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co., (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021), p.103.
John Loring, Magnificent Tiffany Silver, (New York: Harry M. Abrams, 2001), p. 112.
Loring, p. 114.
Loring, p. 114.
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