In London, Treasured Jewelry From the Tiffany Archive


LONDON — With the Tiffany & Enterprise flagship retail store in New York going through an substantial (and delayed) transforming, Christopher Young, the man or woman dependable for overseeing the company’s archive, saw an option in all the disruption. It was a opportunity, he stated, to share additional than 400 parts from its assortment with the general public — not in Manhattan but in a London gallery known much more for present-day art than legendary jewels.

The outcome is “Vision & Virtuosity,” an exhibition that runs as a result of Aug. 19 at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, curated by Mr. Younger, whose official title is vice president/resourceful director of creative visible merchandising and the Tiffany archives. Admission to the clearly show is free of charge, but you have to download the Tiffany application for iOS or Android to reserve a slot.

1 highlight, together with merchandise from the company’s long-established archive, is the 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond, a yellow cushion-slice gem. It was noticed mounted in a white diamond necklace on Beyoncé in a Tiffany ad campaign previous calendar year and on Woman Gaga at the Oscars in 2019, but the gem is normally stored on screen in the Fifth Avenue store.

The archive by itself consists of around 5,000 objects, the corporation reported, which includes roughly 1,800 pieces of jewelry, documenting the legacy of Tiffany’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, and works by his son Louis Consolation Tiffany, together with creations by pre-eminent designers which includes Jean Schlumberger, Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso.

But why would Tiffany, acquired for $15.8 billion past calendar year by the French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, tuck so several precious items away in an archive? Mr. Youthful spelled out the reasoning through a modern video clip interview from the gallery, just after escorting Ms. Picasso around the exhibition. (The conversation has been edited and condensed.)

Tiffany is in the organization of providing. So why cling on to this kind of a big archive?

Ever considering the fact that the organization was founded, we have always preserved records, unquestionably types. The oldest item in the archive is a hard cash e book from Day 1 in 1837. The equilibrium sheet of what was invested into the firm and the products that ended up bought would be kept in this ledger. But the most important reason is for us to know about ourselves and to protect our record for the potential: to retailer our architecture, our product structure, our packaging layout, our brand structure. And, of system, the archive is a loaded resource for our designers as they continue to evolve. We usually seem back, not to replicate but to discover where by did we appear from and why had been sure possibilities built. Given that the beginning of this model, there’s been really a little bit of innovation in the environment of jewelry, such as when we manufactured the six-prong environment in 1886.

What is the oldest piece of jewelry in the archive?

Just one of the earliest parts is an Archaeological Revival necklace in gold from all over 1850 to 1870. It’s on display in the exhibition — we aspect it with the 1845 Blue E-book, which is the very first mail-get catalog in the United States. But aspect of our role at the archives is to make clear that jewelry making is not a new practice for us. There are breathtaking illustrations, very early examples, that we can refer to to position out our expertise in this industry. For example, in this exhibition you see a magnificent 1870s diamond and emerald necklace. It just illustrates the reality that we’re not new to this observe. You can see how the Tiffany types have progressed with the unique artistic sales opportunities.

Why did you decide on London to inform the Tiffany legacy?

Because of the renovation, the Tiffany Diamond would not be on show in the New York flagship. That meant that we experienced a window in which we could share it someplace else. And in honor of our 150 years of conducting enterprise in London, we imagined it would be a fantastic thought to bring it right here.

Why did you decide on the Saatchi Gallery?

We looked at a handful of places. We liked the connection to artwork. We loved the community. We didn’t want it to be a business exhibition we required it to sense creative in spirit.

Just one piece in the display is truly for sale?

Certainly, our reimagining of the World’s Good diamond necklace from 1939. We have the initial style for it, which named for an all-diamond necklace. At the time we could not supply a diamond that large — there was no 80-carat stone. As a substitute, the design was recognized with a massive aquamarine in an emerald condition. But when we were being conceiving of this exhibit, we felt we missed that seriously massive diamond necklace instant. We referred back to the archives and said, Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could understand that piece? Our main gemologist, Victoria Reynolds, out of the blue had entry to this 80-carat, internally flawless Empire Diamond stone and stated, “Let’s make it.” The idea that you can take the stone out of the heart and put on it as a ring felt that substantially additional more than-the-top. It is for sale. I’d like for the necklace to go to the archives but it would be our most costly acquisition ever, so I do not consider which is possible. But it was a actual entire-circle instant to do a thing that couldn’t be carried out again in 1939.

What’s the asking cost?

I’m not sure. [Later, Tiffany said it could not reveal the price except to say its value was “north of eight figures.”]

Is the archive developing?

We’re consistently obtaining. We get commonly.

Is there a Tiffany jewel you are dying to get again into the archives?

Of course, there is, and we just got it. We actually, seriously wanted Louis Comfort and ease Tiffany’s gold and opal Medusa pendant. It was regarded prolonged long gone, it was considered missing, but it came up at auction this earlier December [and sold for $3.65 million]. We moved heaven and earth to get that piece. I will inform you that we were in intense competitiveness with primary institutions to get it again. It is the holy grail of necklaces. It was a after-in-a-life span opportunity. We’re now working on preserving it. The piece requires a tiny little bit of loving care. There are stones lacking and things we will need to increase to make sure it’s in a great state all over again. But we hope to expose it at the reopening of the New York flagship next year. If it’s all set.

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