The Adventurine Posts The Tiffany Archives Book Is A Gem

A Tiffany Blue Box (1878 – 1883) decorates the cover of 'The Tiffany Archives' (Steidl); spread from the book featuring 'Rings for the Finger' by George Frederick Kunz and an apple blossom lapel watch composed of enamel, diamonds and gold. Photo Henry Leutwyler

Books & Exhibitions

The Tiffany Archives Book Is A Gem

It is filled with treasures from the legendary jeweler’s vaults

by Marion Fasel

July 21, 2023 (Updated October 2, 2023)—Art Deco diamond bracelets, an invitation to the opening of the Statue of Liberty and the 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond set in a diamond necklace are among the hundreds of jewels, gems, objects and ephemera featured in The Tiffany Archives published by Steidl with photography by Henry Leutwyler.

The introduction was penned by Tiffany & Co.’s Christopher Young, vice president and creative director of creative visual merchandising and The Archives. Yours truly wrote the foreword.

Parasol (1877 – 1887) composed of sterling silver, chalcedony, petrified wood and silk; Glass scarab, diamond and gold necklace (1907 – 1914) designed by Julia Munson under the direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany for the Art Jewelry Department at Tiffany & Co. Photos Henry Leutwyler

The remarkable mix of things in the book, many of which are being shown publicly for the first time, is exactly what founder Charles Lewis Tiffany would have wanted. From the moment the doors opened at Tiffany & Co. in 1837, he established an archive and had an ambition to stock inventory ranging from high end to accessibly priced items.

“All objects within the collection are catalogued and handled with equal care and meticulous adherence to conservation measures,” writes Christopher Young. The way in which the archivist value everything equally is illustrated with some democratic and delightful pairings. Disparate things such as a parasol and a necklace, a jewel and an invitation are placed side-by-side in spreads. The surprising juxtapositions also visually communicate the depth and breadth of Tiffany creations.

American flag brooch (1900 – 1910) composed of gold, platinum, diamond, rubies and sapphires; Invitation created by Tiffany’s stationary department for the Inauguration of the Statue of Liberty on October 26, 1886. Photos Henry Leutwyler

In addition to showing many aspects of Tiffany’s history, the book is a tribute to the work the archivists have done over the last 186-years. Throughout The Tiffany Archives brief anecdotes appear alongside various jewels, objects and ephemera written by the archivists working at Tiffany today and throughout the years.

The information includes details on masterpieces like five enamel and gem-set orchid designs by George Paulding Farnham that were displayed at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris and described by a French reviewer as being “so perfect, so life like in their grace and charm, that they give the illusion of being natural.”

There are also fun facts such as how designers worked on a commemorative box to celebrate Yankee center fielder Joe DiMaggio’s legendary 56 game hitting streak—that has never been broken—as it happened. How do they know that? The number of games on the paper, ink and graphite 1941 design kept having to be crossed out and updated.

Diamond bracelets made from 1926 through 1955 by Tiffany & Co. Photos Henry Leutwyler

Photographer Henry Leutwyler, who infuses a sense of soul into inanimate objects, thoughtfully turned his lens to everything in The Tiffany Archives. The Jean Schlumberger Salon Journal opened to the notes on a November day in 1965— “Mrs. Arthur Stanton left her crazy twist bracelet for repair”—received the same type of sensitive attention as an assortment of diamond bracelets.

The Tiffany Archives book, which was originally published in a very limited edition, is now available on Amazon as well as at The Tiffany Landmark in New York City and online at

Gem-set brooches made under the direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany by Julia Munson and Meta Overbeck; Necklace composed of pearls, platinum and diamonds (1926 -1930). Photos Henry Leutwyler

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