Mustard Pot

Tiffany & Co.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 706

Following the opening of Japan to the West in the 1850s and the subsequent display of Japanese art at international expositions, the Japanese taste began to captivate American consumers. In response, designers such as Edward C. Moore at New York’s Tiffany & Co. introduced a range of objects inspired by Japanese art works, from ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and prints, to lacquerware, sword guards, and netsuke. The decoration on this mustard pot is particularly unusual and innovative. Its baluster form is completely transformed by the asymmetrical inset panels of copper, brass, and niello enclosed by scrolled "Snake Skin" borders. The ornamental program was created by inlaying patinated copper and shakudo (an alloy of low gold content mixed with copper) into the surface of the vessel. Labeled in the Tiffany & Co. Archives as "Mustard to go with Pepper 5493," this is one of only six decorated versions produced. The Tiffany Archives also retains the Hammering & Inlaying Design drawings for this particular version (#853), which at a cost of $35 was the most expensive iteration.

Mustard Pot, Tiffany & Co. (1837–present), Silver, copper, gold, patinated copper-gold alloy, patinated copper-platinum-iron alloy, and niello, American

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