LONDON — With the Tiffany & Firm flagship retailer in New York present process an intensive (and delayed) reworking, Christopher Younger, the individual accountable for overseeing the corporate’s archive, noticed a chance in all of the disruption. It was an opportunity, he mentioned, to share greater than 400 items from its assortment with the general public — not in Manhattan however in a London gallery identified extra for up to date artwork than iconic jewels.
The result’s “Imaginative and prescient & Virtuosity,” an exhibition that runs via Aug. 19 on the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, curated by Mr. Younger, whose official title is vice chairman/inventive director of inventive visible merchandising and the Tiffany archives. Admission to the present is free, however it’s a must to obtain the Tiffany app for iOS or Android to e-book a slot.
One spotlight, together with objects from the corporate’s long-established archive, is the 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond, a yellow cushion-cut gem. It was seen mounted in a white diamond necklace on Beyoncé in a Tiffany advert marketing campaign final 12 months and on Girl Gaga on the Oscars in 2019, however the gem is often stored on show within the Fifth Avenue store.
The archive itself accommodates round 5,000 objects, the corporate mentioned, together with roughly 1,800 items of knickknack, documenting the legacy of Tiffany’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, and works by his son Louis Consolation Tiffany, together with creations by pre-eminent designers together with Jean Schlumberger, Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso.
However why would Tiffany, acquired for $15.8 billion final 12 months by the French luxurious conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, tuck so many useful items away in an archive? Mr. Younger defined the reasoning throughout a current video interview from the gallery, simply after escorting Ms. Picasso across the exhibition. (The dialog has been edited and condensed.)
Tiffany is within the enterprise of promoting. So why hold onto such an enormous archive?
Ever because the firm was based, we now have all the time maintained data, definitely designs. The oldest object within the archive is a money e-book from Day 1 in 1837. The steadiness sheet of what was invested into the corporate and the products that have been offered can be stored on this ledger. However a very powerful goal is for us to find out about ourselves and to protect our historical past for the longer term: to retailer our structure, our product design, our packaging design, our brand design. And, after all, the archive is a wealthy supply for our designers as they proceed to evolve. We often look again, to not replicate however to study the place did we come from and why have been sure selections made. Because the starting of this model, there’s been fairly a little bit of innovation on the planet of knickknack, together with after we produced the six-prong setting in 1886.
What’s the oldest piece of knickknack within the archive?
One of many earliest items is an Archaeological Revival necklace in gold from round 1850 to 1870. It’s on show within the exhibition — we characteristic it with the 1845 Blue E book, which is the primary mail-order catalog in america. However a part of our function on the archives is to elucidate that jewellery making shouldn’t be a brand new apply for us. There are spectacular examples, very early examples, that we are able to seek advice from to level out our experience on this subject. For instance, on this exhibition you see a spectacular 1870s diamond and emerald necklace. It simply illustrates the truth that we’re not new to this apply. You’ll be able to see how the Tiffany designs have developed with the completely different inventive leads.
Why did you select London to inform the Tiffany legacy?
Due to the renovation, the Tiffany Diamond wouldn’t be on show within the New York flagship. That meant that we had a window the place we might share it someplace else. And in honor of our 150 years of conducting enterprise in London, we thought it will be idea to deliver it right here.
Why did you select the Saatchi Gallery?
We checked out a couple of places. We liked the connection to artwork. We liked the neighborhood. We didn’t need it to be a industrial exhibition; we needed it to really feel inventive in spirit.
One piece within the present is definitely on the market?
Sure, our reimagining of the World’s Honest diamond necklace from 1939. We now have the unique design for it, which referred to as for an all-diamond necklace. On the time we couldn’t supply a diamond that huge — there was no 80-carat stone. As a substitute, the design was realized with a big aquamarine in an emerald form. However after we have been conceiving of this present, we felt we missed that actually huge diamond necklace second. We referred again to the archives and mentioned, Wouldn’t it’s wonderful if we might understand that piece? Our chief gemologist, Victoria Reynolds, abruptly had entry to this 80-carat, internally flawless Empire Diamond stone and mentioned, “Let’s make it.” The thought which you could take the stone out of the middle and put on it as a hoop felt that rather more over-the-top. It is on the market. I’d love for the necklace to go to the archives however it will be our most costly acquisition ever, so I don’t assume that’s seemingly. However it was an actual full-circle second to do one thing that couldn’t be finished again in 1939.
What’s the asking value?
I’m undecided. [Later, Tiffany said it could not reveal the price except to say its value was “north of eight figures.”]
Is the archive rising?
We’re consistently shopping for. We purchase often.
Is there a Tiffany jewel you’re dying to get again into the archives?
Sure, there may be, and we simply acquired it. We actually, actually needed Louis Consolation Tiffany’s gold and opal Medusa pendant. It was thought of lengthy gone, it was thought of misplaced, however it got here up at public sale this previous December [and sold for $3.65 million]. We moved heaven and earth to get that piece. I’ll inform you that we have been in fierce competitors with main establishments to get it again. It’s the holy grail of necklaces. It was a once-in-a-lifetime alternative. We’re now engaged on preserving it. The piece wants a bit of little bit of loving care. There are stones lacking and issues we have to improve to ensure it’s in state once more. However we hope to disclose it on the reopening of the New York flagship subsequent 12 months. If it’s prepared.