Antique American aesthetic movement silver vase by Tiffany

Antique American aesthetic movement silver vase by Tiffany

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Fine American sterling silver lobed baluster vase made by Tiffany & Co at the turn of the 20th century. With its compressed and bulbous fluted form, and reflecting Tiffany's efforts to emulate the elegance of Japanese artistry, this silver vase is decorated with sections of engraved floral-work linked by latticed, conjoined tree branches.

Among the most exciting and innovative periods in American silversmithing are the years between 1867 and 1887, a period of creativity in form inspired by the influence of the Aesthetic design movement and the growing interest in all things Japanese that permeated the American consciousness in the late 19th century. The latter of these influences, a by-product of the forced opening of the US/Japan trade in 1854, spurred the adoption of a distinctly Japanese design sensibility across a wealth of American decorative arts.

At Tiffany, this hunger to capture the Japanese aesthetic was led by its head silver designer, Edward C Moore, in the latter half of the 1860s. Moore's designs won a bronze medal at the 1867 Paris Exposition, a first for America and a feat that greatly energised the silversmith's creativity. Moore with the help of famed English designer, Christopher Dresser, acquired hundreds of Japanese wares, then shipped them to New York for study and emulation at the Tiffany workshop. Moore returned to the Paris Exposition in 1878 with such a stunning display of silver that Tiffany was awarded the grand prize and Moore a gold medal. These triumphs made them an international powerhouse. Dresser effusively praised Moore after the Exhibition, saying, in part, "No silversmith, that I know of, has made the progress in art as applied to their industry in the last few years that you have - indeed, the rapidity of your advancement has astonished many of my art friends as well as myself…"


Height 160 mm / 6 "
Diameter 185 mm / 7 "
Weight 600 g (19.29 troy ozs)



Rhode Island