Sunday, December 7, 2008

The end of an era at Tiffany & Co.

After 30 years as Design Director at the one and only - Tiffany & Co., John Loring is retiring. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Loring while working for both Sotheby's and Phillips auction houses and can say there is not a nicer man in the jewelry business.

Just to give some perspective to Mr. Loring's contribution to the 170+ year old company - when he joined the firm in 1979, Tiffany & Co. had five retail locations and grossed in the nine figures. Today, the firm operates 200 stores (and counting) and last year earned a pleasing $3 billion. For a while you couldn't walk five feet without spotting a sterling silver Return to Tiffany heart tag charm bracelet. Well done, Mr. Loring.

During his tenure as Design Director he has also authored 25 books about Tiffany & Co., ranging in topics from table settings to silver and of course - jewels. All of his books are chocked full of interesting history, beautiful photographs and would make stellar additions to any coffee table.

Here are a few of my favorites...

Greeting from Andy: Christmas at Tiffany's is a wonderful little book with all of Warhol's Christmas card illustrations and drawings that he created for the firm, prior to his pop culture artist fame. Filled with quotes and stories regarding Warhol and his work, it is a wonderful gift for an art enthusiast.

Tiffany Style is the one volume you should you own. Mr. Loring compiled over 170 years of beauty, craftsmanship and American elegance in this book. Amazing.

Tiffany Diamonds chronicles the significant history of Tiffany & Co. and the precious stone - from Charles Lewis Tiffany being anointed the king of diamonds to how the firm is responsible for the engagement ring, as we know it today.

Tiffany's Palm Beach is a year book of who's who of Palm Beach society and just happens to highlight all their fabulous objects and jewelry from Tiffany. Published in 2005, it coincided with the grand reopening of the Palm Beach store.

Tiffany Flora & Fauna a spectacular box set, illustration of Tiffany & Co. designer's interpretation of Mother Nature's best works. (I had the privilege to make a small informational contribution to these...)

Tiffany Pearls is beautifully illustrated history lesson of the classic gem. A must have for anyone who adores pearls and their lustre...

A Tiffany Christmas is '90's excess at it its finest. A nice addition to an existing collection. See the tablescape below - a great example of being totally over the top.

Maybe not as fabulous as what might be contained in a little blue box, but the incredible history of providing the world with elegance somehow seems more important these days.



Legallyblondemel said...

You worked at Sotheby's??? Sotheby's?!? Stories, please! How fabulous.

Oh, and cheers to Mr. Loring for a job very well done.

Barefoot in the Park said...

oh tiffs, how lovely.

a. said...

I spent most of my NYC life working for the publishing house that worked with John Loring making these books!

Pink Preppy Party Girl said...

Love your book choices and I adore the Andy W. picture for Tiffany. I have the Christmas book from years back--need to find it!