Tiffany & Co. Antique Sterling Silver 'Mooresque' Covered Sugar Bowl, New York City, 1873
This exquisite covered sugar bowl is one of the nicest we have ever offered. The design is fascinating and exceptionally rare.
Referred to as 'Mooresque' design in the Tiffany Archives, the unusual spelling could be a play on words as the design was created by Edward Moore.(1) The stunning design is highly influenced by Persian motifs. Here one sees the handle to the domed, removable cover with pierced scroll work chased with line details. The use of partial gilding on this sugar bowl is striking.
The applied bottom edge of the cover, the unusual edge of the rim and the applied band underneath the rim which matches the cover's are all gilt. The handles are remarkable. The bold design and use of partial gilding along with chased surfaces make the handles a work of art.
One side of the body is inscribed with a lovely script 'JL' monogram and the 25 year anniversary dates '1842 1873'.
The simplicity of the pear-shaped body enhances the ornate, applied decorations. The body and cover are also treated with a matte finish giving the surface a soft luster.
A tea set in this style was 'Designed by Edward C. Moore for the 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris...one of Moore's early works in the Orientalist vein... He based the elaborate handles of the creamer and sugar bowl on the handle of an early-sixteenth-century Persian brass jug in Moore's own collection'.(2) The service from the 1867 Exposition is now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, see here.
This rare sugar bowl is marked underneath 'TIFFANY & CO/ 1770/ QUALITY 925-1000/ M (gothic in oval for John & Edward C. Moore)/ 688/ UNION SQUARE'. It measures 7.5 inches across the handles by 7.5 inches high, weighs an impressive 27.85 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.
Charles H. Carpenter, Jr., Tiffany Silver, (Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1978), pp. 70-71.
John Loring, Magnificent Tiffany Silver,(Harry N. Abrams, Inc, New York, 2001), p. 60.