The tall cylindrical coffeepot with its free-floating dragonflies represents the Japanese influence
on the avant-garde art of the 1870s. Edward C. Moore, Tiffany’s chief designer, undoubtedly fell under this influence. In fabricating the piece, he employed the Japanese technique mokume, in which brass or silver is mixed in copper to achieve a swirled effect. The mokume waves achieve a cloudlike quality, interspersed among the applied dragonflies.
Manufacturer Tiffany and Company, American, established 1837
  • Coffeepot
Date 1879
Medium silver, copper, brass, ivory, possibly with gold and niello
Dimensions Overall: 9 1/4 × 6 1/8 inches (23.5 × 15.6 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Theron Van Dusen and Beatrice W. Rogers Fund
Accession Number 1985.11
Department American Art before 1950
On View Modern C233, Level 2 (see map)
Marks Struck, on bottom of pot: TIFFANY & CO | 5398 M 439 | STERLING SILVER | AND | OTHER METALS | 900
Slavid and Applegate;
1985-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Bulletin of the DIA, 62, 2 (1985): p.11 (fig.10).

"American Decorative Arts Acquisitions 1985-2005." Bulletin of the DIA, 81, 1-2 (2007): p. 72.