Tiffany & Co Extremely Rare and Fine Antique Sterling Silver 6 Piece Coffee and Tea Service, Edward C. Moore, c. 1870-75, in Original Union Square Mahogany Box with later Tiffany Antique Sterling Tray
This outstanding coffee and tea service features bold classical and floral designs of the early aesthetic movement. Comprising a hot water kettle on stand, coffee pot, tea pot, covered sugar bowl, cream jug and waste bowl. The classical inspiration of the regency style Tiffany sterling tray, c. 1910, works wonderfully with the c. 1870's service.
Each piece displays three dimensional casting, the kettle above shows classical decoration of natural elements such as laurel leaves and berries, acanthus leaves and floral bouquets. Sprays of lily-of-the valley emerge from the bold central leaves on the stand.
A cast and applied band of floral sprays and garlands adorn the neck, mid-section and foot. Acanthus leaves decorate each spout and handle, the finials are foliate buds. The confidence of this early aesthetic movement reform design and the masterful execution of the service can be seen in every piece.
The strong classical features are similar to other early Tiffany aesthetic movement masterpieces designed by James H. Whitehouse including the 'Bryant Vase' of 1875, a major attraction at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tiffany occupied their store in fashionable Union Square in 1870 and this set was made before Tiffany started using their modern mark, c. 1875. The model number on the base also indicates it was designed during this period.
The large sterling footed tray is magnificent. It is very heavy and made of very thick gauge in order to handle the weight of the coffee service. The classicism of the design compliments the coffee service beautifully. An applied gadrooned, shaped edge is ornamented with lovely shells at the handles. Flowing foliage decorate the bold handles, shells and feet .
Edward Chandler Moore ran the silver department at Tiffany & Co. from the early 1850's and oversaw the development of one of the most important silversmithing firms ever. Early aesthetic pieces designed by Whitehouse, items in the Japanese, Persian and Native American tastes were all products of Moore's vision and are found in the most important museum collections today. Under his direction, Tiffany & Co. made the worlds most important aesthetic movement silver.
Services in their original boxes are extremely rare today. We like original boxes, not only due to their rarity, but because most objects in the original box are in very good condition. This set is no exception and is very impressive. The fitted box is lined with cobalt blue felt and embossed in gold lettering 'UNION SQUARE/ TIFFANY & CO/ NEW YORK'. It has an monogrammed brass plaque on the top and wonderful brass handles.
The kettle measures 14 inches high, the tray is 30 inches across the handles and the combined weight is a significant 404 troy ounces. The tray is monogrammed "BLD" in a script style.
Condition: Very good antique condition. There are a few very minor dings and a practically unnoticeable monogram removal. The original mahogany box has been refinished and retains the original blue felt lining in very good condition. The set retains the original ivory insulators on the handles, also in very good, tight, and usable condition.
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