- Museum number
Pendant, in the form of a gold open heart attached asymmetrically to a black silk cord. The heart is hollow-stamped in two parts and assembled. The surface undulates and the width of the outline varies.
- Production date
1974 (designed in)
2006 (made in)
Height: 32 millimetres (of pendant)
Width: 34 millimetres (of pendant)
- Curator's comments
- The heart pendant is made in silver and gold, in three sizes; this is the largest. It can also be worn with a gold or silver chain instead of the silk cord (see 'Bejewelled by Tiffany', exhibition catalogue, C. Phillips ed., London 2006, no. 172). It has become Peretti's most popular item, for which she has also designed matching earrings and ring. It is this piece, along with her silver bean, also made in different sizes, that enabled her to revolutionise the popularity of silver jewellery. In 1990, Elsa Peretti explained the genesis of the heart pendant:
'I really think that the idea for the best-selling item of my collection sprang from a void in a Moore sculpture, a big one. No-one else saw a heart there. Just me. The shape was there, in metal. What I couldn't work out was how to hang it from the chain. Mr. Kalich, then head of Tiffany jewellery, suggested with his strong German accent: "Why dont we put it through". I was so overjoyed that I gave my first model to his fiancée.'
The heart was featured on the cover of 'Newsweek' for 4 April 1977, with a cover story entitled 'Jewelry's New Dazzle', which reported that 'What Peretti had was a whole new idea of what jewelry should be: more design than decoration.......real jewelry has become accessible and affordable for every shopgirl.' (quoted in J. Loring, 'Tiffany Jewels', New York 1999, p. 215).
See also 2009.8033.6-9.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2009 1 May-2010 31 Jan, London, BM, Room 2, 'Elsa Peretti: Jewellery and objects for Tiffany & Co.'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Given in honour of Elsa Peretti's 30 year anniversary with Tiffany & Co.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number