Cover The ‘Breakfast at Tiffany's’ room in the ‘Vision & Virtuosity’ exhibition in London

American jeweller Tiffany & Co marks 185 years with a visual chronicle of its luminous history in London

Few things in life can weather the inexorable test of time; a treasured story, passed down reverently through the ages, is one of them. A treasured story filled with dazzling passion, brilliant creativity and bold risks? Even more so.  

That is where we find ourselves today, 185 years down the path of history, with legendary American jeweller Tiffany & Co. If you’re an ardent fan of the brand like yours truly, you would have heard the echo of its glorious past from friends, family and associates: founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany, the store in its first iteration operated as a respectable stationery and fancy goods emporium in New York City. Its remarkable reputation grew swiftly over the next four decades under Tiffany’s vision and stewardship, acquiring a name for its fine silverware, classically stylish designs and daring innovations.

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It grew even more when Tiffany—by then one of the top jewellers in the world—bought the world’s largest yellow diamond—a 287.42‑carat rough stone from the storied Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa that was eventually transformed into the Tiffany Diamond worn most recently by pop culture queen Beyoncé in the brand’s 2021 About Love campaign—in 1878, and nearly one‑third of the French Crown Jewels in 1887, earning him the moniker “The King of Diamonds”.

What followed since then has also been the stuff of legend. Just think of the luxury jeweller and you’ll be hard pressed not to associate it with Audrey Hepburn and her iconic scenes in the perennially chic classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s; the work of its star designers—among them, Lewis Comfort Tiffany, Elsa Peretti, Jean Schlumberger and Paloma Picasso—whose designs have transcended time and become, almost, works of art in their own right; or its highly anticipated annual Blue Book high jewellery collections, which have roots in the brand’s early direct mail catalogues.

The point of this condensed history lesson, dear reader, is this: to mark the house’s 185th anniversary, its illustrious past is the subject of an extensive exhibition titled Vision & Virtuosity, which goes on display in London’s Saatchi Gallery this June. Bringing together more than 400 objects from the Tiffany archives, it covers the breadth of the American jewellery brand’s astonishing innovations since its founding.

The exhibition will be grouped into seven distinct chapters dedicated to key facets of the house, from its creative window displays to its witty, irreverent campaigns, Blue Book high jewellery, Love & Engagement, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, unassailable authority in diamonds and, of course, its emblematic Tiffany Diamond.

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“Since its inception, Tiffany & Co has held a unique position within culture,” says Alexandre Arnault, the brand’s executive vice‑president of product and communications. “Vision & Virtuosity celebrates the house’s most defining moments, showcases the incredible collection of archives and exemplifies why Tiffany & Co is such an iconic brand.”

But why London, one might wonder? The city, as it turns out, has a historically significant milestone to celebrate with the brand this year. Tiffany & Co will mark its 150th year in the fashion capital this year, and the staging of the exhibition on British soil highlights the deep bonds that the American jeweller has with its English offshoot. “This exhibition perfectly captures our long‑standing heritage in bridging tradition and modernity,” says Anthony Ledru, Tiffany & Co’s president and chief executive officer.

Speaking of modernity, the exhibition will also offer special artist collaborations and limited‑release items in the iconic Tiffany Blue. Among the covetable collector’s items to be found on site are hoodies designed by fashion’s favourite artist Daniel Arsham, Tiffany & Co x Wilson footballs, Caran d’Ache pen and pencil sets, and Quartersnacks skateboards.

The exhibition runs until August 17, 2022. Tickets will be available beginning May 2, 2022 on the Tiffany & Co. Exhibition app, available on the iOS and Google Play app stores, or at the exhibition.

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