Charles Lewis Tiffany 1812-1902
Louis Comfort Tiffany 1848 - 1933
1837 Charles Lewis Tiffany and John Burnett Young establish Tiffany and Young, a stationary and fancy goods shop on 259, Broadway, New York. They were innovators because their prices were non-negotiable.
1841 Jabez Lewis Ellis joined the company, adding his name to Tiffany, Young and Ellis. The firm expanded its building.
1842 Gold jewellery, imported from Europe, finds a place in the firm’s shop.
Tiffany began to sell diamonds in the run up to Christmas; getting Charles nicknamed ‘The King of Diamonds’ by the New York press. Diamonds had previously been a rare site on American soil. The firm also starts to manufacture their own gold jewellery to keep up with increasing demands.
1850 Tiffany, Reed & Co. office opened at 79, Rue de Richelieu in Paris, after a new partnership with Gideon French Thayer Reed.
1851 Tiffany buys the silversmith John C. Moore, and start to manufacture their own silver. Edward Moore became the main Tiffany designer and manager of the Tiffany workshops.
1853 Charles Tiffany renames the company Tiffany & Co, assuming full control of the firm.
The famous ‘Atlas Clock’, a nine foot wooden statue holding a clock, was installed above Tiffany’s new premises on 550, Broadway.
1861 Abraham Lincoln purchased a suite of Tiffany seed-pearls for his wife to celebrate his election.
1862 The American Civil War broke out and Tiffany supply the regiments with weapons, flags and medical supplies.
1867 Tiffany became the first ever American exhibitors to win an award at the ‘Exposition Universelle’ in Paris. They win a Bronze Medal for their silver objects.
1872 Tiffany opens an office on Argyll Street in London.
1878 Charles buys the ‘Tiffany Diamond’, one of the biggest and finest canary-yellow diamonds in the world for $18 000 dollars. The rough stone was 287.42 carats and was cut to contain 80 facets – 22 more than traditional brilliants – and to weigh 128.54 carats.
Tiffany & Co were a huge success at the Paris exhibition, winning various medals and awards for their jewellery and silverware. Charles was made a ‘Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur’.
This success led the way to the opening of the Tiffany School, which contained an extensive library and included drawing and manufacturing programs which formed some of the firm’s most important designers.
Tiffany sold their Geneva watch workshops to Patek Philippe.
1885 Tiffany designers re-designed the American ‘Great Seal’, after it was discovered that the Eagle was clutching the wrong number of arrows. The design is still printed on Dollar banknotes to this day.
At only 26 George Paulding Farnham joined Tiffany's design team and went on to propel Tiffany forward as the best in the jewellery industry. He was the instigator of an enamelled and realistic ‘jewelled fauna’, for which Tiffany’s is internationally recognised.
1886 The ‘Tiffany Setting’ for engagement rings is designed and created. The six-clawed setting holds the stone high for the first time, letting more light into the diamond and maximising its brilliance. This setting is still highly sought after, and much copied, to this day.
1900 At the World Fair, the famous enamelled ‘Orchid Brooches’, of which there were only 25, designed by Paulding Farnham captured much interest due to their delicate and realistic nature. Many of them were bought by Jay Gould, a rail baron and lover of the Orchid.
The Paris ‘Universal Exhibition’ sees Tiffany & Co. winning four Grand Prizes for their leather, jewellery, silverware and gems.
1902 Charles Tiffany dies. Charles Cook became president of the firm and Louis Comfort Tiffany is made Creative director and Vice President.
Charles Cook died, and John Moore, the grandson of Edward Moore, succeeds him.
1910 Tiffany & Co. in Paris move to 25, Rue de la Paix, alongside the other world famous French houses.
1927 Tiffany’s standard of purity for platinum became the American requirement.
1933 Louis Comfort Tiffany died, thus closing his jewellery department.
1935 The post Wall Street crash brought hard times for Tiffany, meaning cost-cutting and redundancies including those of directors and officers. These job losses continued to occur until 1939.
1942 Tiffany’s silver plant replaced their production to making precision parts for anti-aircraft machinery and aeroplane fitting blacks during the Second World War.
1945 In the years following the war, Tiffany produced some patriotic pieces including charm bracelets, earrings and brooches with images such as planes, the Statue of Liberty and peace signs.
1955 Tiffany & Co are taken over by the Hoving Corporation, which ran Bonwit Teller. This saw the production of re-vitalised merchandise and the employment of Van Day Truex as the design director.
1956 John Schlumberger, a Parisian jeweller, opened his United States salon within Tiffany’s.
1961 ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, featuring Audrey Hepburn as the young Holly Golightly is released by Paramount Pictures, based on a book by Truman Capote.
1965 The designer Donald Claflin joins Tiffany & Co after having worked for Van Cleef and Arpels and David Webb.
1968 Tiffany & Co. introduces Tanzanite to the gem market. The chairman Henry Platt, the great grandson of Charles Tiffany, named and promoted the purple-blue stone after the country in which it was discovered.
1974 Elsa Peretti joined Tiffany & Co as a designer, and Tiffany again are the ‘agent’ for another new stone from Tanzania – Tzavorite.
1980 Paloma Picasso, the youngest daughter of the artist Pablo Picasso, joins Tiffany & Co as a designer, creating, amongst many new silver pieces, very representative and colourful jewels using moonstones, aquamarines and zircons.
1984 Tiffany & Co. floats on the New York stock exchange and is bought by Avon Products and other outside investors.
1987 The company celebrates their 150 year anniversary by holding exhibitions of their pieces in New York, Chicago and Boston museums.
1995 The ‘Musée des Art Decoratifs’ in the Louvre, Paris held a Tiffany exhibition in retrospective for the designer John Schlumberger, it was called ‘A Diamond in the City’.
Recently many designers have contributed to the Tiffany collection, including architect Frank Gehry and Elsa Peretti.