Among the great spectrum of gemstones employed by Tiffany & Co., moonstones are perhaps the most closely intertwined with the firm’s history. At the beginning of the 20th century, their billowy adularescence and soft cabochon form lent themselves perfectly to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s sinuous, one-of-a-kind designs. By the 1940s, Tiffany & Co. was producing moonstone jewels in large numbers, often substituting the Montana sapphires preferred by Tiffany for rubies, typically in simple, floral designs. The tradition continued with Jean Schlumberger who, in 1968, fashioned a jelly fish from the shimmering material, to commemorate an attack on his most important patron, Mrs. Paul “Bunny” Mellon, by a Portuguese man-o’-war. The brooch offered here takes a less menacing form, its moonstones mimicking the downy buds of a pussy willow. The choice of material, superlative construction and playful design makes this piece unmistakably Tiffany.
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