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Elsa Peretti

Italian, 1940-2021

In an era of social upheaval, venerable Tiffany & Co. designer Elsa Peretti reimagined diamonds as jewelry that working women bought for themselves rather than receiving it from a suitor.

By the time the Italian-born Peretti arrived in New York City, she’d already studied design in Rome, worked for a Milanese architect and taught Italian, French and skiing in Switzerland. She settled on interior design as her potential career path but then chose an altogether different route: modeling. Peretti modeled in Barcelona, Spain, and on the advice of Wilhelmina Cooper — a former model who’d by then founded Wilhelmina Modeling Agency — moved to Manhattan in 1968. When she relocated, Peretti was inspired to pick up jewelry design.

After modeling for designer Halston, the undisputed fashion king of Studio 54, Peretti became his close friend and collaborator, eventually creating jewelry and teardrop-shaped perfume bottles for him. By way of her association with Halston, Peretti took to the disco scene, flourishing in a social circle that included artist Andy Warhol and fashion designer Giorgio di Sant’Angelo.

It wasn’t long before models on di Sant’Angelo’s runway were donning two-inch sterling-silver vases, complete with a rose stem, suspended on leather thongs around their necks. The accessory was Peretti’s inaugural piece of jewelry — she designed it in 1969 after finding a flower vase at a flea market. It was hardly the only time that Peretti found motifs in nature and in organic forms. In the years that followed, her Bean pendant necklace, Starfish earrings and other sensuous accessories would draw on human emotion as well as the natural world around her. Each evocative and wholly versatile design is universally adored decades later, and each was made for a storied American jewelry house with which Peretti would be associated for nearly 50 years.

It was Halston who introduced Peretti to Tiffany & Co. She had her own boutique at Bloomingdale’s by 1972, and her partnership with the firm, which signed the venturesome and unorthodox designer to an exclusive contract in 1974, would cement her place in the lofty annals of jewelry legend. Peretti’s simple but sophisticated designs — the Teardrop collection, her minimalist Diamonds by the Yard necklace and Open Heart ring, to name a few — elevated sterling silver, previously considered unsuitable for fine jewelry, and created an enthusiastic young audience for Tiffany’s offerings. In 1977, Peretti’s designs earned the jewelry house more than $6 million. (In some years, her work has accounted for 10 percent of the company’s sales.)

In 2012, Peretti signed a 20-year, $47.3 million contract with Tiffany & Co., but she passed away in 2021, at age 80. Today, her designs are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the British Museum.

Find an exquisite collection of Elsa Peretti jewelry today on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Elsa Peretti
Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co. Heart Shaped Boxes
By Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co.
Located in New York, NY
Pair of heart shaped keepsake boxes, one in sterling silver, one in black leather. Both are stamped Elsa Peretti/Tiffany&Co. Sterling measures 3.25" wide x 3 " long x 1.25 tall Bla...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Elsa Peretti

Materials

Sterling Silver

Black Thumbprint Art Glass Centerpiece Bowl by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany and Co.
By Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co.
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Spectacular black art glass thumbprint centerpiece bowl by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany and Co., circa 1990s. The bowl is in excellent condition and measures 11" D x 5" H and is signed o...
Category

Late 20th Century American Elsa Peretti

Materials

Art Glass

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Previously Available Items
Elsa Peretti for Tiffany Candlesticks Bones
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20th Century Elsa Peretti

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Glass

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Elsa Paretti for Tiffany & Co. Crystal Jewelry Candy dish Catch-All Charger 1986
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Mid-20th Century Modern Elsa Peretti

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Crystal

Pair of Modernist Terracotta "Bone" Candlesticks by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany
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1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Elsa Peretti

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Elsa Peretti Vintage Thumbprint Set for Tiffany & Co.
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20th Century Italian Elsa Peretti

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Enamel

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1970s Italian Modern Vintage Elsa Peretti

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Modernist Sterling Silver Padova Nutcracker by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
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Sterling Silver Wave Box by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
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A charming sterling silver "Wave" box by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. Stamped on the underside with her signature, the Tiffany logo and "925 Italy".
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Late 20th Century Italian Elsa Peretti

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Elsa Peretti furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture Elsa Peretti are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are often made of sterling silver and designed with extraordinary care. In our Elsa Peretti collection, there are many options to choose from, although silver editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 1 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many original furniture by Elsa Peretti were created in Italy during the late 20th century in modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Franco Moretti, Mandruzzato and Mario Badioli. Prices for Elsa Peretti furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $1,200 and tops out at $1,200, while pieces like these can sell for $1,200 on average.

Recent Sales

Elsa Peretti for Tiffany Candlesticks Bones
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Organic Modernist Terracotta "Bone" Candlestick by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany
By Elsa Peretti, Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., Tiffany & Co.
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This sophisticated and rare "Bone" candlestick was realized by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., circa 1984. This piece is particularly sought after as Tiffany no longer produces the "...
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Tiffany & Co. and Designer Elsa Peretti Leather Jewelry Box, Italy
By Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., Tiffany & Co., Elsa Peretti
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A beautiful dark blue and tan suede leather jewelry box from luxury maker Tiffany & Co. and designer Elsa Peretti. Box has the iconic Elsa Peretti organic modern form top. Box is mad...
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2010s Italian Organic Modern Elsa Peretti

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Thumbprint Bowl by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
By Elsa Peretti, Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
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Thumbprint bowls by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
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20th Century Elsa Peretti

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Glass

  • Thumbprint Bowl by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
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H 3.25 in. W 14.75 in. D 11.25 in.
Elsa Paretti for Tiffany & Co. Crystal Jewelry Candy dish Catch-All Charger 1986
By Tiffany & Co., Elsa Peretti
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Gorgeous Elsa Paretti for Tiffany & Co. crystal jewelry candy dish catch-all charger, 1986.
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Pair of Modernist Terracotta "Bone" Candlesticks by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany
By Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co.
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Elsa Peretti Vintage Thumbprint Set for Tiffany & Co.
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Four-piece Thumbprint by Elsa Peretti pottery serving set-large bowl, soup tureen and cover, platter and small bowl and cover signed Tiffany & Co.
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20th Century Italian Elsa Peretti

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Enamel

Pair of Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. "Bone" Terracotta Candlesticks
By Tiffany & Co., Elsa Peretti
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These sophisticated and rare "Bone" terracotta candlesticks were designed by the noted jewelry designer, Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., circa 1970s and retailed through Tiffany & Co...
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1970s Italian Modern Vintage Elsa Peretti

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Modernist Sterling Silver Padova Nutcracker by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
By Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co.
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Sterling Silver Wave Box by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.
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A charming sterling silver "Wave" box by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. Stamped on the underside with her signature, the Tiffany logo and "925 Italy".
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Late 20th Century Italian Elsa Peretti

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