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Coffeepot, 1879

  • Tiffany and Company, American, established 1837

Silver, copper, brass, ivory, possibly with gold and niello

  • Overall: 9 1/4 × 6 1/8 inches (23.5 × 15.6 cm)

Founders Society Purchase with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Theron Van Dusen and Beatrice W. Rogers Fund

1985.11

On View

  • Modern C233

Department

American Art before 1950

The tall cylindrical coffeepot with its free-floating dragonflies represents the Japanese influence on the avant-garde art of the 1870s. Edward C. Moore, Tiffany’s chief designer, undoubtedly fell under this influence. In fabricating the piece, he employed the Japanese technique mokume, in which brass or silver is mixed in copper to achieve a swirled effect. The mokume waves achieve a cloudlike quality, interspersed among the applied dragonflies.

Slavid and Applegate

1985-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Bulletin of the DIA, 62, 2 (1985): p.11 (fig.10). "American Decorative Arts Acquisitions 1985-2005." Bulletin of the DIA, 81, 1-2 (2007): p. 72.

Tiffany and Company, Coffeepot, 1879, silver, copper, brass, ivory, possibly with gold and niello. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Theron Van Dusen and Beatrice W. Rogers Fund, 1985.11.