The Ninth Century Desk Set was acknowledged by Tiffany Studios as one of the more elaborate desk sets designed and sold by the company. Period sales pamphlets focusing specifically on Tiffany’s Desk Sets highlighted the Ninth Century set’s decorative motif of stylized animals, including birds, squirrels and hares, which Tiffany’s designers adapted as a substitute for the grotesques commonly found in Decorative Arts from the 9th century. These charming creatures are surrounded by intricate knotwork and interlace designs, described by Tiffany Studios as “carved ornament” and “deeply cut strapwork.”
The Ninth Century set is one of the few Tiffany desk sets which features Tiffany Favrile Glass as an important decorative element used to imitate a semi-precious jewel or stone.
This Letter Rack from the set, in bright gold patina, features surface decoration on all of the flat front panels and sides. The edges of the decorative elements feature narrow borders with scrolling motif punctuated by inset rounded polished Tiffany Favrile Glass cabochons in shades of deep blue and green, likely intended to recall the tones of sapphires and emeralds.
Height: 5 ¾ inches (14.6 cm)
Width: 9 ¾ inches (22.9 cm)
Depth: 2 ½ inches (6.4 cm)