FLIGHT OF FANCY
Tiffany & Co.
Bird On a Rock
In 1956, French artist and jewelry designer Jean Schlumberger unveiled a rather unusual creation for Tiffany & Co. Famed for his naturalistic designs, Schlumberger had crafted a beady-eyed, crested bird brooch in 18-karat gold and platinum. Set with brilliant-cut diamonds and a pink-sapphire eye, the bird was perched atop an impressive topaz rock.
“For some reason, it amuses everybody,” said Walter Hoving, Tiffany & Co. chairman at the time, in an interview. “The bird is amusing rather than funny… I know there’s a thin dividing line, but I hate funny things. Jewelry is no joke.”
Bird On a Rock has proven to be much more than a one-liner. Since it’s unveiling, the brooch has taken its place in the annals of fashion history, with the whimsical bird set on tourmaline, morganite, and aquamarine stones. In 1995, for a retrospective of Schlumberger’s work at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the brooch was even reset with the famous Tiffany Yellow Diamond, one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered.
As one of the most iconic Tiffany & Co. pieces, the brooch continues to be produced in very limited editions – unsurprisingly, with price on application.