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Tiffany & Co. Paulding Farnham Pearl and Diamond Pendant Brooch


Designed by Paulding Farnham for Tiffany & Co., this freshwater pearl, diamond and enamel brooch was created circa 1889. The domed, five lobed form is pave-set with freshwater pearls of a variety of white, off white and soft pastel hues in rounded, off-round and oblong shapes, highlighted by old European-cut diamonds, with five open apertures accented with green enamel applied beads, and elaborately engraved with feathered or foliate devices to the reverse.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BO-20635
Artist: Paulding Farnham, Tiffany & Co., New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1889
Size: 1.75” diameter
Materials: 95 natural freshwater pearls; 10 old European-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 0.30 carat); 18K gold; (with replaced 14K gold pinstem)
Signed: Tiffany & Co.
Literature: A similar natural freshwater pearl brooch from this series designed by Paulding Farnham for the 1889 World Exposition in Paris, is pictured in Paulding Farnham: Tiffany’s Lost Genius, p. 69. The brooch pictured there, as well as other jewelry prepared for the Exposition, contained pearls harvested from the Miami, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. In the same volume, p. 20 illustrates another Farnham freshwater American pearl brooch of American tribal inspiration from the 1889 exhibition. A similar brooch is also pictured in Tiffany Jewels, John Loring, p. 124

From the 1840s, Tiffany & Co. offered clients American tribal arts among the many diverse works exhibited for sale. In the years spent preparing for the World Exposition of 1889, Paulding Farnham, Tiffany’s young head jewelry designer, turned to the American tribal art in the firm’s permanent collection as a major source of inspiration for the jewelry he would present in Paris. According to John Loring, “Farnham shifted the direction of Tiffany’s Native American designs…to far more original designs that employed a bold and stylish vocabulary of Native American symbols, pictograms, and decorative devices.” Farnham drew from arts of diverse tribes and nations, including the Sitka, Navajo, Sioux, Dakkota, and Hupa peoples, among others. This work, Loring reports, “received considerable and favorable attention from the press” for Tiffany at the 1889 Exposition.