Vase (for the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York)
George Paulding Farnham ( American, 1859 - 1927 )
Tiffany and Company ( American, 1837 )
Created especially for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, this vase is a superb example of the Viking-themed silver designed by George Paulding Farnham for Tiffany & Co. in the decade following the Columbian Exposition of 1893, where the first such works by the firm were exhibited. Echoing the ornamental features of Farnham’s other known “Viking” silver, this vase includes intertwined serpentine handles culminating in bird heads and presents a complex engraved, chased, and etched pattern of scrolls and masks adorned with colorful enamels and semiprecious gemstones.
In 1893 Farnham was involved in the design of a significant number of presentation pieces exhibiting these various stylistic influences for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was at this same exposition that Tiffany’s first “Viking” pieces were shown. Farnham received a gold medal for jewelry at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889, the grand prize for his Native American-style silverware at the Paris Exposition of 1900, and a gold medal for silverware at the Pan-American Exposition for his jeweled and enameled “Viking” and “Saracenic” silver.
Kevin W. Tucker, DMA Label copy, 2010.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Read more about Nineteenth-Century American Silver.