Tiffany & Co. Parcel Gilt Sterling Silver Ice Bowl
Designed by Edward C. Moore, circa 1877
The circular bowl decorated with Japanesque water lillies and dragonflies, on a base of ice dripping with icicles, with two polar bears. Diameter of bowl 10 1/4 inches, length 11 1/2 inches, approximately ounces.
The Japanesque style was hugely popular in the United States after Meiji Japan showed art and decorative arts at the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. Tiffany & Co. under Edward C. Moore embraced Japanese design with great enthusiasm creating some of the most inventive and beautiful silver of the late 19th century. The polar bears modeled by Eugene J. Soligny were a popular addition to punch and ice bowls, used to celebrate the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. While the mixing of polar bears and dragonflies may appear unusual to modern eyes, at the time of its creation, this ice bowl would have united the very latest trends in fashion and politics.
In the time before refrigeration, ice and chilled drinks was a great luxury afforded to only the wealthiest of Americans. The serving of ice was a grand spectacle that Tiffany & Co. perfectly presented with this stunning ice bowl. Guests would thus have been impressed not only by their hosts cutting edge taste and knowledge of national politics, but also by their generous wealth.
The same bowl, but fully gilt, is illustrated Magnificent Tiffany Silver, John Loring, pg 196.
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