New York City is extremely magical around the Christmas season and its holiday glamour attracts many tourists and high-end shoppers, for whom the dazzling display windows at the famous 5th Avenue are like a dream come true. And no displays sparkles brighter than those at Tiffany’s and every New Yorker will guide you to the famous store, where this year the festive decoration is inspired by the brilliance of Christmas in New York.
Founded in 1837 as a “stationery and fancy goods emporium” Tiffany’s story started from a small store in Lower Manhattan to later focus on jewellry and its mail order catalogue, the Blue Book, to be first published in 1845 as one of the first catalogues printed in full colour, to today feature the world’s rarest and most beautiful jewels.
The brand was named after the name of its founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, rather than after the two other meanings of the term, ‘the festival of the Epiphany celebrated on January 6’ (first recorded in use in the earliest summary of the law of England written in French circa 1290), or ‘a transparent silk, muslin’ (first recorded by Philemon Holland in his 1601 translation of the Naturall Historie by the Roman writer Pliny.)
Tiffany & Co. made its media appearance in 1869 when the New York Times reported on the new USD 500,000 Tiffany building at 15 Union Square West calling it “a monster iron building” and a “palace of jewels, with black-walnut counters and ebony cases holding watches, fans, opera glasses and other articles in wood, leather, silver, cloisonné, enamel, bronze and rosewood.”
In 1902, the company moved to Fifth Avenue and 37th Street; and in 1940, Tiffany’s current location opened at 727 Fifth Avenue, where the main floor was turned into a movie set in 1961 for the Hollywood classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s where the main character Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn (Truman Capote initially wanted Marylin Monroe to play the role) proclaimed that: “Nothing bad could ever happen to you at Tiffany’s.”
Since last month, all fans of the movie along with connoisseurs of exquisite jewellry can now officially have a breakfast at Tiffany’s, in the Blue Box Café, located on
the 4th floor of the New York flagship store offering: “signature New York dishes reinvented to be uniquely Tiffany.”
The famous Tiffany glass, on the other hand, started its story from Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Tiffany’s founder, who in 1902 established the Tiffany Artistic Jewelry department in the Fifth Avenue store. Louis became known as the American leader of the Art Nouveau movement and most famous for his stained-glass lamps and windows that brighten places as the Yale University (Education, 1890), the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Angel of the Resurrection, 1904), and many other.
The first Tiffany lamp was created around 1895, by Clara Driscoll, head of the Tiffany Studios Women’s Glass Cutting Department known as the “Tiffany Girls,” to gain international popularity after the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and to turn into a symbol of the Art Nouveau movement and a byword for stained leaded glass lamps.
Today’s word of the day pictures a perfect Christmas experience for some – a New York Shopping tour, followed by signature dishes under the shades of some Tiffany lamps and the sparks of Tiffany jewellry.