A timely post as Mrs.E. and I just enjoyed a Sunday Mimosas and a Movie at our local theatre. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on the big screen, complete with some Audrey styled audience members. Mrs. E. has had many a little blue box during our relationship. They never fail to delight. My youngest has already received her first — “Every girl should have some Tiffany’s in her life!” said the very stylish and chic lady who gave her her birthday gift. How right she was. I should revise her thought to “each of us…” As SWF demonstrates so well, sources of inspiration surround us. Here’s what’s on SWF’s mind. Enjoy.
A Tiffany Blue Design Library, GRATIS! By Square With Flair™
Who doesn’t love Tiffany’s? We always loved it, but it became even dreamier after seeing Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Who could resist the allure and mystique of the place? That big solid building on Fifth Avenue. Looks more like a dignified bank than a merchant of dreams. Who doesn’t want something of Tiffany’s in their life?
It started when I was a teenager in the 1970s, living in a small, remote, northern town and dreaming of New York sophistication and perfect taste. I’d save my allowance and send $2.00 to Tiffany’s in New York for their delicious little blue book catalog. It always seemed an eternity until they arrived, but they always did. How I pored over those charming little books for hours, days, weeks…for years! I collected one each year, and I studied them over and over. Boy, that was better than any fine arts course, and I’ve taken plenty of those.
Tiffany’s in those days, under design director Van Day Truex, had a level of connoisseurship and taste that has not been equaled. Over the years, the little books have become a little grubby, dog-eared, wrinkled, pages have loosened. But like the “Velveteen Rabbit”, oh so loved. I credit them with training my taste. This allowed me to spot many unnoticed treasures in flea markets and antique shops.
I am very attached to my vintage Tiffany catalogs, after all I grew up with them, and they in a way, educated me. Thirty-five years later, not only do they continue to be an invaluable design resource and inspiration, but they are charmingly decorative, giving a nice hit of robin’s egg blue, wherever they reside. And, they have become an investment. Recently, older copies from the 60s and 70s have sold for over $100.00 each on the Internet and from fine antiquarian book dealers. Something told me, so many years ago, they would become priceless!
The delicious wild strawberry bracelet of coral, gold, enamel, and diamonds, looks as tempting as it did 40 years ago, and will no doubt look 40 years from now.
The chinoiserie bamboo sterling tea set is so delightful and graceful; one wonders why they don’t reissue it.
And then….there is that heavenly blue used on the catalog, and the gift boxes. That certain colour of blue might as well be code for, “Special, beautiful, memorable, and joyful.” The blue itself has permeated my dreams and desires, and shown up in vintage and antique pieces I’ve collected over the years: 1960s cafe racer style leather motorcycle jacket that brings about embarrassing numbers of compliments,
the old Christian Dior V-neck sweater (in 1970s acrylic that everyone thinks is cashmere!),
a miniature Louis XV commode, and the wonderful aqua ground continental porcelains of Limoges, Nymphenburg and Meissen.
Faithfully, I continue to collect Tiffany’s catalogs. They no longer charge for them, now they are gratis! We live in much more democratic times I suppose. They are still excellent, but not nearly as rarefied. Tiffany no longer carries merchandise by other manufacturers, and now everything is of their own design and label. They used to carry Rolex, Patek, Royal Crown Derby, Spode, Meissen, Flora Danica of Copenhagen, etc. But no longer. Still wonderful, but lacking the cachet of the Van Day Truex era. But who knows, years from now, the Tiffany’s blue book of the 21st century may also be as collectable and sought after as the old ones now are. In a grouping they still make a wonderful design statement! I highly recommend going in and getting one each season.
Incidentally, the catalogs of many other design houses, such as Hermes, also become valuable in time. Quality always retains value. A thing of beauty is a joy forever….