An orchid brooch in gold and enamel from Tiffany & Co, late 19th/early 20th century unquestionably dominates this jewellery sale.
Judging by the few known results, its creation date is what makes this piece so valuable: with Beaussant Lefèvre in June 2005, a late 19th century orchid brooch with a very modest estimate of €2,000 stirred up a bidding battle that culminated in €193,467! The one here is similar to the twenty-odd orchids designed by Paulding Farnham (1859-1927) presented by Tiffany & Co at the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition. These brooches were so successful that forty more were put on sale the following year in the Fifth Avenue store. Customers went wild for this Japonism-style piece illustrating the emerging Art Nouveau movement. Emblems of delicate sensuality, flowers have always inspired jewellers. The masterpiece of craftsmanship here is based on the tiger orchid. It is also one of the legendary house models created in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany, who, forty years later, bought 486 stones and pearls once belonging to the French crown at auction in Paris. He certainly had a nose...