TiffanyJewellery brand Tiffany & Co was founded in 1837 in New York by 25-year-old Charles Lewis Tiffany and John Young.
The pair opened a “stationery and fancy goods” store but the shop has grown into one of the most recognised and desirable luxury brands selling jewellery and accessories around the world.
It has an illustrious history – it was the first American company to employ the British silver standard (92% pure) which was later adopted by the US government and its silver studio was the first American school of design.
Following the death of Charles in 1902 his son Louis Comfort Tiffany became Tiffany’s first art director. His famous commissions have included redecorating the White House and he helped the company become a leader in Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts design.
The brand became immortalised in the 1961 Audrey Hepburn film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Its clients have included prominent members of society including wealthy US families the Vanderbilts and Astors and it is still in demand with the rich and famous today. It retails items worth hundreds of thousands of pounds but some of its “entry level” items, simpler silver pieces, sell at around £100.
There is a flourishing market in pre-owned Tiffany pieces at auction from watches and jewellery to silver and glassware with estimates starting at upwards of £200. Some items have been recently made and being sold on while others are much older, and therefore rarer.
Many auction houses hold regular jewellery sales or watches and jewellery sales which will feature Tiffany items while others may include Tiffany pieces within a bigger auction.
With a variety of items on offer you will find plenty to suit your budget.
Condition, age, rarity and provenance determine the prices that Tiffany items sell for at auction.
A simple item of jewellery such as stud earrings sell for a few hundred pounds at auction. At the other extreme are the very rare items associated with the rich and famous which sell well into the hundreds of thousands of pounds for historical items. But a small diamond ring can be purchased for less than £1500.
What to look out for
Check the auction house’s lot description. It will typically state how old and whether there is any damage. It may also detail condition issues such as any scratches or missing parts and whether it comes with a box or other documentation. You can request a condition report from the auctioneer if it is not already in the lot description.
Auction houses with a jewellery department will employ a specialist you can contact to discuss your requirements and answer your questions.
What to do next
Decide how much you’d like to spend and use the search facility on thesaleroom.com to find Tiffany items coming up for sale. You can filter your search by, among other things, price and by location of the auction house to narrow down your selection.
To research recent prices at auction so you can see how much Tiffany items have sold for before you can also try out the Price Guide.
If you are new to bidding check out our guides to buying at auction – it’s easy once you know how.