James Gillis

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26 posts by James Gillis:

Never Arrive Empty Handed: Hostess Gifts Around the World

November 18th, 2016

Since the earliest times, the bestowing of gifts has been symbolized as a token of love and appreciation. For primitive man, gifts from tribe and clan leaders symbolized status. Later, Native Americans celebrated the presence of others with a potluck. By the Middle Ages, gifts were used to secure the personal favor of a king or show allegiance in times of war. In other instances, heads of state and other important dignitaries gave gifts as a sign of good will and peace. Gifts are also given to express love. When cunning Count Gregory Orlov of Russia gave Catherine the Great a 198-carat diamond to win her back, the bar established was certainly set high for all others. Undeniably, no other type of gift more perfectly displays admiration and appreciation than that of a gift given to a host or hostess.

Inner Workings on Display: The English Skeleton Clock

September 13th, 2016

The term “skeleton clock” refers to any clock or wristwatch in which the internal mechanisms have been made visible. They are extremely difficult to make and must be superb in every way—a marvel of mechanical precision as well as a beauty to behold!

The Story of Sterling: 19th Century Silver Patterns

July 5th, 2016

The creation of a well-designed pattern is the work of an artist. Different designs can immediately suggest the personality of the silver piece and assert its value and context. More than just simple decoration, silver patterns hold a place of unforgettable beauty. Coffee poured from a slender shining Chrysanthemum pot, and a carving knife graced with the elegant, mythological forms of the Tiffany Olympian pattern become active participants in the dining occasion. Conversation pieces all on their own, the different patterns and styles of silver are a not not only a testament to the innate artistry of silversmiths, but windows into the fascinating history of silver.

Dining as an Art: Caring for Your Silver Collection

April 18th, 2016

Since its inception in 1837, silver flatware by Tiffany & Co. has brought a touch of luxury to dining rooms in a manner of unparalleled craftsmanship and elegance. Synonymous with timeless style, the Tiffany & Co. Silver Company began retailing silverware at the onset of an era of rapid wealth expansion in America. This new […]

For the Love of Porcelain: Meissen’s Cupid

February 1st, 2016

Chocolates, flowers, cozy candle-lit dinners – these ordinary words gain a special significance this time of year around Valentine’s Day. This season of grand romantic gestures and proclamations of love is often personified by its most popular mascot – the mischievous young Cupid. The name alone conjures an image of a chubby-cheeked cherub wielding his infamous bow and arrow. Yet, the plump young cherub that today adorns Valentine’s cards and chocolate boxes is actually older than the holiday itself.

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