A new exhibition of jewelry from the Tiffany & Co. Archives features pieces worn by presidents and their wives at the company's new store in downtown Washington, D.C.
The new location at CityCenterDC in downtown opened in early March, and the company curated 11 pieces to include in an exhibit that highlights some of the Tiffany family’s most memorable work, including a watch owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a set President Abraham Lincoln gave his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.
The following pieces will be on display until March 31:
- An American flag brooch set with alternating rubies and sapphires from the early 1900s.
- An oversized, gold bow brooch set with European-cut diamonds from the early 1900s.
- A gold-and-diamond encrusted bodice ornament in the shape of a bow with a ruby knot from the 1890s. A similar piece was once valued at $2,500 during the Gilded Age.
- An additional gold-and-diamond covered bow set with pearls
- A necklace containing 30 tourmalines from Paris, Maine, which were displayed in gem collections shown by Tiffany at 19th-century World’s Fairs. The piece also contains diamonds, citrines and amethysts.
- A gold necklace set with colored diamonds and a central Montana sapphire of nearly 40 carats designed by Meta Overbeck under the supervision of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of the company’s founder.
The following pieces will be on display through April 30.
- An identical replica of the Two Fruits and Leaves Clip, which John F. Kennedy, then president-elect, purchased for his wife Jacqueline Kennedy in 1960. It was designed as a pair of ruby strawberries entwined with stems and diamond leaves.
- A plaster and wood mold of the Great Seal of the United States comissione in the 1880s by President Chester A. Arthur to be used to validate international and U.S. government documents from 1885 to 1902. Tiffany designer James Horton Whitehouse was approached by the U.S. government to submit a new and improved design of the original seal from 1782, but the cast was only used for 17 years.
- A set of a necklace, bracelet, brooch and earrings purchased by President Abraham Lincoln in New York in 1862, and given to his wife and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln as a memento of his inauguration. It is featured in many of the first lady’s official portraits.
- President Franklin Roosevelt’s Tiffany & Co. gold face and leather band watch, which he received from his son-in-law as a birthday gift in 1945. The inside of the watch’s face is engraved with the message: “Franklin Delano Roosevelt with Loyalty, Respect and Affection January 30, 1945.”
- A sterling silver humidor presented to President Ronald Reagan in commemoration of being elected the 40th President of the United States. It also features a music box, which plays he Presidential Anthem of the United States when the lid is lifted.