Watch fob (Charm)

  • Category:

    Jewelry

  • Creator (Role):

    Tiffany & Company (Probable maker)

    Atlantic Telegraph Company (Maker)

  • Place of Origin:

    United States, North America

  • Date:

    1858-1860

  • Materials:

    Gold; Copper wire; Gutta percha; Iron wire

  • Museum Object Number:

    1959.0565


  • Complete Details



Object Number

1959.0565

Object Name

Watch fob (Charm)

Category

Jewelry

Credit Line/Donor

Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont

Creator (Role)

Tiffany & Company (Probable maker)
1837-Present
Tiffany & Co. was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young as Tiffany & Young in New York City in 1837. It became known as Tiffany & Co. in 1853. The manufacturer was John Moore, who started the manufacture of silverware in 1827. The relationship between Moore and Tiffany & Co. continued even when Tiffany was incorporated in 1868. (Darling, New York State Silversmiths, p. 176; Turner, American Silver Flatware, p. 22)

Atlantic Telegraph Company (Maker)
1856

Place of Origin

United States, North America

Date

1858-1860

Subjects

Industry; Nautical

Materials

Gold; Copper wire; Gutta percha; Iron wire

Dimensions (inches)

1.25 (L) , 0.75 (Diam)

Dimensions (centimeters)

3.18 (L) , 1.91 (Diam)

Measurement Notes

Diameter is of the drum.

Object Description

Web - 12/17/2014

This small charm is a souvenir made to commemorate the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable, laid in 1858. During the autumn of that year, New York and London merchants and jewelers took advantage of public fascination with the cable. They created and sold objects such as charms, candlesticks, cane handles and paperweights incorporating sections of the surplus British-made cable. Unmarked by its manufacturer or retailer, this charm is constructed with a gold case surrounding a cross-section slice of the florette-shape center made by seven copper wires of the cable housed within its natural insulator of gutta-purcha all bound within seven-ply twists of iron wire. A trophy ornament composed of a fouled anchor with two heraldic shields and cannons decorates the top of the charm beneath the suspension loop. Engraved with the stars and stripes of the United States and the Union Jack of Great Britain, these shields symbolize the new communication connection between the two countries. Such souvenir "charms" were advertised by New York jewelry and silver merchant Tiffany & Company for American patrons.