A gold, natural pearl, demantoid garnet, and enamel necklace circa 1900 by Marcus & Co. (Courtesy of Siegelson, New York)
The Gilded Age in New York, the late 19th century, is a legendary time of enormous Fifth Avenue mansions, sumptuous balls and one-upmanship that kept dressmakers and jewelers alike busy. Competing barons, and their wives, were determined to break through the old guard (and their old money) to be on top of New York society, and spent eye-watering sums of money to mark their status. The Museum of the City of New York is exploring this era in an exhibition entitled ‘Gilded New York’, which has over 100 pieces from this time on display, including jewelry. Like with fashion, many jewels came from Parisian maisons, but American companies like Tiffany & Co. and Marcus & Co. established their place in society and ushered in a new style that incorporated colored gemstones into the usual piles of pearls and diamonds. The exhibit is housed in the newly opened Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery at the museum and runs until November 30, 2014.
A gold, sapphire, zircon and enamel brooch
circa 1900 by Tiffany & Co. (Copyright Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)
A platinum, gold, diamond, pearl, ruby, garnet and sapphire brooch
circa 1900 by Tiffany & Co. (© Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)
A gold, diamond, enamel, turquoise and pearl necklace
circa 1904 by Tiffany & Co. (© Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)
A book has been published in conjunction with the exhibition called ‘Gilded New York: Design, Fashion and Society’, which you can get here. Also, check out this post on the exhibition for more images of the items and era.
Gilded New York Book Cover (The Museum of the City of New York/The Monacelli Press)
Gilded New York Exhibition (The Museum of the City of New York)