lot 472

λ By Tiffany and Co, a 19th century silver and mixed metals mokume tea caddy, Edward Moore period 1873-1891, circular form, with silver, copper and oxidised silver wood-grain decoration, the pull-off cover with a carved ivory okimono finial of playful Japanese figures, mounted on a silver rug, with a turned up corner, the body with a plain silver band with chased foliate motifs, on four silver bracket feet, gilded interior, the underside of the base with a monogram, for Mary Jane Morgan, diameter 11.2cm, height 13cm, approx. weight 17oz. Provenance: Mary Jane Morgan 1823-1885, and then by family descent to the current owner. Mary Jane Morgan was a fine and decorative arts collector. She was the second wife of Charles Morgan, a shipping, railroad and iron magnate, and was the cousin of J. Pierpoint Morgan. After her death, her collection was auctioned in 1886 by Thomas E. Kirby, via the American Art Galleries at New York's Chickering Hall. The sale was a ten day event and totalled over $1,200,000. The paintings alone took three days, and the Asian Art took place over two days. A similar tea canister to this lot was sold in this auction, lot 710, described as 'Tea Canister, illustrating Japanese difficult workmanship in metals of 'Moku-me' or veins in wood, ivory Qilin surmounting cover, gold lined. Charles Moore introduced the Japanese metal work technique Mokume, of simulating wood grain, to Tiffany in the 1880's and in 1889 Tiffany produced a large vase for the Paris Exhibition, which is now in The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.