PART THREE: REIGNING RETRO
Situated on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan, New York is Tiffany & Co.’s famed flagship store. Opening in the 1940s this location has housed some of the most treasured jewels from the mid-20th century. From the historic fancy yellow tiffany diamond, to the rare undiscovered gems of kunzite and tsavorite, Tiffany & Co. was established as the home of numerous breathtakingly scarce gemstones. Today vintage Tiffany & Co. pieces are amongst the most collectible with pieces designed and crafted prior to the use of heavy machinery. Vintage Tiffany pieces capture the true essence of design, quality, uniqueness and rarity and have been featured in numerous films, fashion events and media. From the 1940s to the 1980s the spectacular jewels released from the collections at Tiffany & Co. have inspired, intrigued and charmed us whilst still remaining timeless.
Rich and luxurious gold cocktail rings in fun feminine designs flooded the Tiffany catalogues in the 1940s. After decades of yellow gold taking a hiatus to the favoured mirror finish of platinum during the Art Deco period, it’s return in the 1940s was undeniable. Jewellery started to feature in popular films such as Casablanca, where the female lead Ingrid Bergman can be seen adorned in a number of large jewels including diamond set brooches, earrings, rings and necklaces. Fashions of the time allowed eye-catching motifs such as bows, buckles and hearts to be used with an array of colourful gemstones.
By the 1950s Hollywood had captured the imagination of the world. Stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren featured in films which would later become iconic. Fifties bombshell Marilyn Monroe proclaimed in her role as show girl Lorelei Lee in ‘Gentlemen prefer blondes’ that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’ This phrase followed Monroe for the rest of her life and numerous pictures of her with diamonds emerged, including one in which she is seen wearing the Tiffany diamond.
It was during the fifties that renowned designer Jean Schlumberger joined Tiffany & Co. He soon established a name for himself with creative interpretative designs which captivated jewellery enthusiasts around the world. When the film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ was released in 1961 many of Schlumberger’s designs are pictured as Holly Golightly portrayed by Audrey Hepburn, is transfixed on the sparkling window displays. After the release of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, the flagship store in New York became a tourist attraction associated with glamour and allure.
Today vintage Tiffany & Co. pieces continue to draw audiences from around the globe. Discover their allure for yourself with Berganza's collection instore or online today.