Art Deco Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Ring, Tiffany & Co., circa 1925, sold for $12,000 at Fall 2017 Important Jewels auction.

As Holly Golightly will tell you, “Nothing very bad could happen to you there.”

She’s referring of course to Tiffany & Co.’s flagship jewellery shop on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

From their legendary heart tag bracelets to their iconic Tiffany Blue Box, Tiffany & Co. is arguably one the world’s most recognizable, popular and timeless jewellery brands.

From Art Deco era masterpieces to the modern Tiffany T collection – the debut for the brand’s first female Design Director, Francesca Amfitheatrof – Tiffany & Co. has endured in popularity for decades. Their jewels are a staple on the red carpet and their signature designs coveted by women everywhere.

Interestingly, the jewellery house didn’t start out selling jewellery, at least nothing more than costume pieces. The brand began as Tiffany & Young in 1837, purveyors of stationary and fine giftware.

It wasn’t long before Tiffany’s began offering European-imported jewellery, eventually acquiring their own stock of diamonds and gemstones. By the turn of the century, Tiffany’s had begun to solidify their reputation as an innovative and trendsetting jewellery house.

A Pink Tourmaline, Diamond and Gold Bracelet, by Tiffany & Co., sold for $46,000 at Dupuis June 2017 Important Jewels auction.

The start of signature designs

In the 1950s, Tiffany & Co. began featuring individual designers, starting with Jean Schlumberger, the creator of Tiffany’s classic “X” bangles, as well as brightly coloured, enameled animal motifs. He was the first designer the brand allowed to sign his work. His extensive Sixteen Stone and Ropetwist collections are considered new classics.

Only a handful of other designers for Tiffany’s have this honour: Paloma Picasso, Elsa Peretti and Frank Gehry.

A Diamond, Platinum and Gold ‘Lynn’ Bracelet, Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co., sold for $6,500 at Fall 2018 Important Jewels auction.

In the 70s, Peretti’s simple and elegant designs transformed the way we wear diamonds, making them suitable for every day, in addition to upgrading sterling silver. Picasso joined Tiffany’s in 1980, bringing flair and sophistication with her bold designs.

Cherished symbols of style

Not the work of a famed designer, but certainly a signature motif, is the Return to Tiffany ® collection. Perhaps the most famous of all their designs, the heart tag bracelet is at the forefront of this contemporary collection that also features pendants, bangles, cuffs and earrings, all emblazoned with the well-known phrase.

Gold ‘Atlas’ Bangle Bracelet, Tiffany & Co., coming up for sale at June 2020 Important Jewels auction.

The story behind the iconic expression goes back to 1969, with the introduction of the Return to Tiffany ® key ring inscribed with “Please Return to Tiffany & Co. New York,” and each one assigned a unique number. The idea was that if anyone were to lose their keys, they would be able to retrieve them from the famed Fifth Avenue shop.

The phrase has now simply become an invitation to visit the ultimate style and luxury locale, in the heart of NYC.

Also easily recognizable, the iconic Atlas collection featuring Roman numerals, is reminiscent of the storied clock that decorates the exterior of the flagship building. A mundane everyday object like a household key, becomes in the hands of an inspired designer, a popular selection of diamond-set pendants.

Thinking of selling your jewellery?

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If you are thinking of adding to your collection, Dupuis’ auctions provide a unique opportunity to purchase rare and one-of-a-kind antique and modern jewellery.

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