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Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co.

Various authors
304 pages
289 illustrations
9.5 x 11 in.
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Edward C. Moore (1827–1891) was the creative leader who brought Tiffany & Co. to unparalleled originality and success during the late nineteenth century. A silversmith, designer, and prodigious collector, Moore sought out exceptional objects from around the world, which he then used as inspiration for Tiffany’s innovative silver designs.

This informative, richly illustrated volume, the first study of Moore’s life, collection, and influence, presents more than 170 examples from his vast collection, ranging from Greek and Roman glass to Spanish vases, Islamic metalwork, and Japanese textiles. These are juxtaposed with sixty magnificent silver objects created by the designers and artisans at Tiffany who were inspired by Moore’s acquisitions. Included among them are the world-famous Bryant Vase drawing upon Greek examples, a love cup featuring ornate “Saracenic” decoration, and a chocolate pot incorporating novel techniques influenced by Japanese ceramics and lacquerware. The illuminating texts have been enriched by groundbreaking research into contemporary sources such as newspapers and periodicals, the Tiffany & Co. Archives, and a newly identified technical manual and supervisor’s diaries, all of which provide an intimate look at the firm’s design processes and Moore’s role in shaping them.

A valuable contribution to the history of American decorative arts, Collecting Inspiration illuminates both the legendary Tiffany aesthetic and the legacy of a significant collector, designer, and entrepreneur of the Gilded Age.

Teakettle, John C. Moore  American, Silver, American
John C. Moore
Ball, Tompkins and Black
Rosewater Sprinkler, Glass; blown
late 18th–19th century
Tripod Candlestick, Brass; inlaid with silver, gold, and black compound
Waterpot (Suichū), Stoneware with polychrome overglazes (Awata ware), Japan
ca. 1850–60s
Hanging Vase, Iron inlaid with copper, silver and copper alloys (shibuichi), gilded accents, Japan
second half 19th century
Vase, Opaque blue-green glass, China
mid-18th century
Turtle, Copper alloy, Japan
second half 19th century
Vase, Glass, Spanish, Almería or Granada
Spanish, Almería or Granada
17th–18th century
Sprinkler, Glass; dip-molded, blown, applied solid foot, applied decoration
19th century
Vase in the Form of a Double Gourd, Stonepaste; painted under transparent glaze
second half of the 17th century
Basket, Bamboo, Japan
19th century
Tankard, Glass, pewter, probably German
probably German
Glass cinerary urn, Glass, Roman
mid-1st–2nd century CE
Vase, Iron, Japan
second half 19th century
Box, Straw on wood, straw lining, French
18th century
Box, Straw, cardboard, silk, paper lining, probably French
probably French
18th century
Box, Straw on cardboard; paper lining, French
18th century
Lamp in the Form of a Mask, Earthenware; molded
probably 1st century BCE–1st century CE
Curly-Tailed Animal Pendant, Gold, Panama
4th–5th century
Marriage A-la-Mode, Plate V, Simon Francis Ravenet, the elder  French, Etching and engraving; fourth state of four
Simon Francis Ravenet, the elder
William Hogarth
April 1745
Showing 20 of 245

View Citations

Harvey, Medill Higgins, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, eds. 2021. Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.