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Schlumberger diamond and sapphire “stitches” ring.
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On September 21, 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany and John P. Young opened a stationery and fancy goods store known as Tiffany & Young at 259 Broadway in New York City. Within ten years, jewelry and silver items were added to their stock. By 1853, Mr. Tiffany had assumed complete ownership of the business and the name was changed to Tiffany & Co. During the 19th century, designers such as Edward C. Moore and G. Paulding Farnham, as well as renowned gemmologist George Frederick Kunz, propelled Tiffany & Co. to the forefront of the international jewelry world. From 1907, the firm manufactured and sold the jewelry designs of Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the founder. Upon taking over the management of Tiffany & Co. in 1955, Walter Hoving invited several talented designers to join the firm. Among them were Jean Schlumberger and Donald Claflin. In 1974, they added Elsa Peretti as an exclusive designer, followed by Paloma Picasso in 1980. In 1979, Avon Products purchased Tiffany & Co. After the management-led buyout of Tiffany in 1984, headed by then chairman William R. Chaney, and a successful public offering of stock in 1987, the company has successfully expanded into key domestic and international markets. Today they comprise more than 100 locations worldwide.
Jean Schlumberger was born in 1907 in Mulhouse in the German-controlled Alsace, into a family of textile industrialists Preferring art to textiles, his first jewelry creations were china flowers mounted as clips which he gave to his friends. They caught the attention of the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli who commissioned Schlumberger to design costume jewelry. After serving in the Army and then the Free French Forces, he set up workshops with his business partner, Nicolas Bongard, in New York and Paris. In 1956, Walter Hoving, the new chairman of Tiffany & Co., brought Schlumberger into the firm as a vice president. He also invited him to stamp his creations with his name, the first designer to be given this privilege. In 1961, the Wildenstein Gallery in New York held an exhibition of his jewelry and objets d’art. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has on permanent exhibit a selection of his jewels and fantasy objects on loan from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Jean Schlumberger died in 1987, and his creations continue to be offered by Tiffany & Co.