Monday, May 9, 2022

THREE MONUMENTS BY F. GRAETZ

"For all you can hold in your cold dead hand is what you have given away".

Illustration shows buildings identified as "Vanderbilt's Palace" at 640 5th Avenue, New York, N.Y., and "Cooper Institute to Science and Art", also a banner labeled "Stewart's Cathedral", referring to the Cathedral of the Incarnation, "established as a memorial to and mausoleum for Alexander Turney Stewart", shown in the background in Garden City, New York. Symbols of wealth frame the left side and symbols of art and science frame the right side. Includes a quote by Joaquin Miller, "For all you can hold in your cold dead hand is what you have given away".

Follow THIS LINK for more on Vanderbilt's Palace.

Friday, February 4, 2022

LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY'S EGYPTIAN FETE FEBRUARY 4, 1913


Louis Comfort Tiffany decided to indulge his passion for Egypt and hosted a costumed ball for his 65th birthday, which came to be known as his Egyptian FĂȘte, in 1913.

Over the years, Tiffany became well known for his taste for the theatrical and his elaborate parties. The most famous of his parties was the elaborate costumed Egyptian Fete held on February 4, 1913, in the Tiffany Studios showrooms at 345 Madison Avenue, in honor of his sixty-fifth birthday. Theme parties and costume balls were in favor with the well-to-do during the last decade of the nineteenth and the first decade of the twentieth century, and they were assiduously chronicled by the local press. Tiffany’s Egyptian extravaganza was the finale to the New York social season of 1913, which traditionally ended at the beginning of Lent, and it was considered by many the most important social entertainment of the year.

A scene at the Egyptian Fete given at the Tiffany Studios, sketched by Dan Smith: Hedwig Reicher as Cleopatra in the foreground, and Mr. Tiffany as one of the Pharaohs in the upper right hand corner. 




                                   SAVE THE DATE

MR. TIFFANY HAS THE HONOUR TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU WILL PRESENTLY RECIVE AN INVITATION TO AN EGYPTIAN FETE OF THE TIME OF CLEOPATRA TO BE HELD ON THE EVENING OF TUESDAY, THE FOURTH OF FEBRUARY ONE THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN TWENTY-SEVEN EAST SEVENTY-SECOND STREET


Mr. Tiffany sent a mysterious message to his friends asking them to reserve for him the night of February 4, but it was not until some time afterward that his scheme was disclosed. As soon as the invitations had been received and accepted there began a serious study of books and plates and the Metropolitan Museum was visited, its collection of Egyptian works giving all the suggestions necessary, and with the assistance of Mr. Smith,  John W. Alexander and Francois Tonetti details were worked out. Some of the men and women wore Eastern jewels, many of which had been reset for the night. The modern part of the nights entertainment came with the supper, which was quite up-to-date, and the dance that followed.

The Sun January 24, 1913 Mr. Tiffany's studio is well suited for such an entertainment and decorations and other details are being kept as a surprise for the night of February 4. There will be characteristic music and many of the amateurs of society are to take part in songs and dances and every endeavor is being made to have the costumes historically correct.

It is expected that many dinners will be given in advance of the fete, which will mark the end of the fashionable season, as it falls on Shrove Tuesday.

Hail to Thee, Great Ones—Happy Friends (both) Men and Women—Saith the Lord (mistress) of the Throne the World—Come Thou to Me and Make Glad Thyself at the Slight of My Beauty
Queen

These cryptic words form the greeting of Louis C. Tiffany in his invitations to friends who have been asked to the Egyptian Fete arranged by him at his Seventy-second street and Madison studio on February 4.

The invitations themselves were unique, in the form of a booklet, handsomely designed and illuminated and fastened by with a seal attached.

The four paged invitation goes on to inform the recipients that Mr. Tiffany has the assistance of three artists, whose names are mentioned, in the arrangements of the fete, and stipulates that all costumes must be approved by them so as to carry out the historical accuracy of the time involved. The dates on which the committee will pass upon the costumes are given.

About four hundred invitations have been issued for this "period" fete.

Mr. Tiffany hopes for your company at three hundred and forty-five Madison Avenue at half after nine o'clock on the evening of Tuesday the Fourth of February, one thousand and nine hundred and thirteen at an EGYPTIAN FETE AT THE TIME OF CLEOPATRA, the grand pageant of which I will commence at ten o'clock precisely.

It is expected that all will come to this fete in the costume of the period, either as Egyptians, or Nomad tribes, Greeks, Persians, Ethiopians, Romans, Syrians,  East Indians and Arabs

Mr. Tiffany will have the assistance in arranging this fete of Joseph Lindon Smith of Boston. John White Alexander of the National Academy of Designs and Francois Tonetti. All costumes must be approved by this committee and may may be shown to them to-day or on January 31 at the studio of Mrs. Edward P. Sperry, 17 West Tenth Street from 4 until 6 in the afternoon.



IT IS THOUGHT NECCESSARY THAT THE ENCLOSED CARD OF ADMISSION BE SENT TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE ACCEPTED MR. TIFFANY'S INVITATION TO THE EGYPTIAN FETE ON FEBRUARY THE FOURTH

So sought after were the invitations to this party that engraved “cards of admission” were issued to those who accepted. 

The photographs show the scene during the Egyptian pantomime, based on the return of Marc Anthony and welcomed by the famous Cleopatra.

No words wore spoken in the pageant, but so clever was the pantomime that those who viewed the scene from the  divans and cushions placed along the walls found no difficulty in understanding everything.

Everything at Mr. Tiffany's fete was chronologically correct excepting perhaps that the elevator man wore his usual uniform; also when the pageant began the host himself in his magnificent habiliment went up in the lift with an American derby on his head instead of his huge and most becoming turban. It was much like Mrs. Vanderbilt's ball at Newport in that the men were  far more more gorgeous than the woman. Like Mrs. Vanderbilt's fete, it was pronounced a man's ball.

In the audience seated below and looking up at the pantomime were Mr. A. A. Anderson, the artist, and Mrs. Anderson, well known as a philanthropist: Mr. De Witt Parshall, whose landscapes are now on view at the Folsom Galleries; Captain Joseph Delamar, who lives in the big mansion opposite Mr. Morgan's house: Mrs. Ben Ali Haggin and her artist son, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Gould Jennings and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hastings.


YOUNGSTOWN TELAGRAM FEBRAURY 13, 1913 - NEW YORK'S "400" CLOSES THE SOCIAL SEASON WITH A MOST GORGEOUS EGYPTIAN FETE.

In wealth and beauty of costuming, in elaborateness of detail and splendor of setting, the Egyptian fete which Mr. Louis C. Tiffany entertained the most select of Gotham's society just before Lent cast its shadow over the world of gaiety, is declared to have eclipsed all previous affairs in the social history of Knickerbockerdom.

For the event Tiffany brought together some three hundred distinguished guests from New York society and American arts and letters, including family members, friends, neighbors, and clients. Among them were his devoted patron Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer; Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, he as a Persian and she as ZuleikaMrs. Charles L. Tiffany as Cleopatra; Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland Dodge as Egyptian water carriers; Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. de Forest as the Maharajah and Maharanee of Punjab; Mr. and Mrs. Johnston de Forest as the Rajah and Ranee of Surat; Henry L. de Forest as a fan bearer; Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Jennings, clients and Long Island neighbors, as Persians; Mrs. George Seligman; Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr., she as Minerva and he as a Persian; the architect Cass Gilbert and his wife; and John White Alexander as an Egyptian mummy, who stood motionless for nearly an hour.

Steps led down at the back as though to the harbor below. On either side across walls of plain Egyptian architecture, and in front wide steps led to the plaza, where were grouped the three hundred guests representing native Egyptian, nomad tribesmen, Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Persians, East Indians, Ethiopians and Arabs, supposedly gathered to witness the meeting between Cleopatra and Antony.


Against a background of the blue green Nile, capped by a tongue of tawny desert land and shaded by the broad green leaves of the lotus flower, Egyptians, Arabs, Hindus, Greeks, Romans, Assyrians and ancient Hebrews mingled in a blaze of color, that might make the spectrum pale to insignificance, and seating themselves on piles of priceless rugs from many lands before the terrace, of Cleopatra’s palace, awaited her coming and the arrival of Antony from Rome.

 
Children await Cleopatra.

Appropriate music, written by Theodore Steinway for the occasion and rendered by concealed musicians of the Philharmonic Orchestra announced the opening of the procession which preceded the arrival of the Queen. An Egyptian water-sprinkler with a sheepskin slung on his hip was followed by women bearing jugs on their heads; soldiers; merchants, their bales of merchandise carried by stalwart porters. Fakirs stopped at the foot of the terrace steps to ply their tricks and bring to life an ancient mummy, who was one of the guests; slave dealers, displaying their human wares who danced and sang for prospective customers; groups of eunuchs and priests and lastly, four statuesque negro palanquin bearers clad in loin cloths and the gleaming polished ebony of their own skin.


Children scattered lotus-flower petals in the path of Cleopatra.



Then came the Queen, accompanied by a retinue of attendants and by a group of beautiful, quaintly clad children who romped before her and scattered lotus-flower petals in her path. Antony soon arrived and summoned at once his gift for the Queen, which was a beautiful boy, Paul Swann, the great male
dancer of the time, who delighted everyone with his dancing. 

A handsome Persian merchant standing near her seemed particularly cordial and well acquainted with every one — one suspected him of being Louis C. Tiffany in his twentieth century incarnation. Minerva, panoplied for war, was there; Thothmes III. and near contemporaries, Tiglath-Pilcser and Nebuchadnezzar. So was a cruel looking sorcerer with a black cat perched perpetually upon his back, gleaming her green sorcerous eyes at every one who pulled her tail. Roman Senators rubbed elbows with slaves from Ethiop's sunny clime, Hindus and Greeks conversed Jovially in a common tongue easily comprehended by a Hebrew patriarch standing near. Arabian princes and Roman matrons exchanged the time of night while Egyptian slaves flirted shamelessly with Greek athletes and Assyrian kings.


The elaborately choreographed pageant carried a theme associated with Tiffany’s business, and in a clever bit of advertising, a scene in the second act involved an assemblage of Egyptian merchants and porters carrying bales of Tiffany Studios textiles, rugs, and glass, which they unpacked onstage for Cleopatra.


Merchants then brought their wares; textiles of rare fineness, glass reflecting the hues they had caught from the sun; lave dealers displayed their human ware; jugglers, fortune tellers, venders of odd fruits and rich coffees plied their trades, the buffoon made merry, and the chief eunuch kept peace and order in the throng to prepare for the coming of the royal queen and her Roman lover. 



The merchants quarreled with one another in their desire to place their wares in the best possible position. Roman lictors with their axes bound in bundles of rods, had to assert their authority on several occasions in a realistic way.


Then came slave drivers, who whipped and drove their human wares on to the stage. Some of the girls met the fancy of buyers, while others were rejected by the Romans, who evinced great interest in this living merchandise.

One of the group, the fairest of all, was veiled, and at first refused to show herself, but at length she doffed her veil and danced. She was Mrs. Donn Barber, who was wonderfully beautiful as a fair Turkish maiden.

But before this the busy street on the city’s parapet was alive with people, a typical Oriental bazaar, for merchants spread their treasures, gold from the south, textiles, rugs, glass and Jewels, in anticipation of the visit of the queen. They had made ready their goods at the request of the chief eunuch, who entered upon the scene with a company of Egyptian priests.


An incident in the pantomime,



Cleopatra considers the choicest wares of the merchantmen.


Having passed in review before the queen and one another, they repaired them below where black coated, white shirted minions known to these ancients as waitahs served ambrosia, rare viands and sweetmeats. A rare weed they smoked, and many jovial jests did make.

A GROUP OF ROMAN GENERALS

A group of Roman generals made their appearance on the scene and sat on the terrace wall, viewing the busy harbor below. 

A Roman soldier(Langdon Geer) vanquishes another warrior(Austin Strong) while Cleopatra looks on in approval.


Egyptian soldiers crossed and recrossed, and native porters staggered up the steps with huge bales of goods brought from distant lands in the ships below, or from across the desert, which could be seen in the distance through the palm trees.

Cleopatra(Miss Hedwig Reicher) and her court receiving Mark Antony (Mr. Pedro de Cordoba) on the magnificent terrace of the royal palace at Alexandria.

Cleopatra’s gift for Antony, which appeared to be a bale of rugs, was carried in by Nubian slaves. When opened, the bundle disclosed the popular and noted danseuse, Ruth St. Denis, who thrilled not only Antony and the Queen, but the guests as well with her exquisite rendition of a dance conceived for the occasion. 



In the center of the stage the famous classic dancer, Miss Ruth St. Denis, is going through the gyrations of one of her dances for the edification of Cleopatra, who, as impersonated by Miss Hedwig Reicher, the actress, is seen reclining on a divan on the left of the picture, watching the dancer. Immediately behind Cleopatra can be seen Marc Anthony, as impersonated by Pedro De Cordoba. The ladles-in-waiting on the stage are all socially prominent. Rose leaves can be seen scattered over the floor leading up the stairway to the stage, strewn by little flower girls in the foreground, on the arrival of the queen.


A slave driver whom Cleopatra had fancied at one time, was commanded by her to drink poison. He died and was taken away to make room for rugs, which were deposited before her.  From the bundle of rugs emerged a Hindu dancer, Ruth St.Denis, clad in yellow gauze, who did one of her dances, full of the beauty and mystery of the East.

After the pantomime and dances the guests were marshaled upon the stage to make their obeisance to the queen.


CLEOPATRA'S RECEPTION
 After the dancer had finished the guests filed up to the stage and were introduced to the queen, each bowing low before the royal divan.


OBEISANCE TO THE QUEEN


Egyptians, Arabs, Hindos, Greeks, Romans, Assyrians, ancient Hebrews and slave boys and girls, some elaborately costumed, others hardly clothed at all, formed a riot of color in the foreground. The scene was gorgeous, artistic and historically accurate and very realistic.


What was considered to have eclipsed the famous Bradley-Martin fancy dress ball was given by Mr. Louis C. Tiffany, the famous New Yorker, to more than four hundred of the elect of New York’s society. This affair wound up New York’s social season and was held just before the beginning of Lent. Every guest wore a costume prevalent in the time of Cleopatra. Some of those who were present were John D. Rockefeller. Jr., and Mrs. Rockefeller, C. H. Alexander and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Rodman Gilder, and hundreds of others socially prominent.


Following the theatrical enactment and Ruth St. Denis’s dance, the guests paraded around the room, after which Tiffany, with a fanfare of trumpets, led them in to dinner for an elegant meal catered by Delmonico’s. The repast included “Gumbo clair... / ... Terrapine a la Baltimore / Chaufroix de pintadeaux au mousse de jambon,”(Guinea fowl with ham mousse) as well as salad, fruit, and petits fours.




The photographs in this section of the magazine represent those in costume who took important parts in the remarkable fete given by Mr. Louis C. Tiffany to his friends in the beautiful Tiffany Studio this Spring. Others have given Oriental entertainments on a more or less elaborate scale, which were intended lo be as nearly perfect as possible, according to the social customs of the times and places they represented. The most successful attempt in this direction, and the one nearest perfection in every detail was Mr. Tiffany’s “Cleopatra” fete.

Every one present taking part was perfectly attired to suit the role he was playing, from potentate to mummy. While a past master in those arts himself, Mr. Tiffany had assisting him many of the most prominent artists in the country, some of whom were particularly well posted in the manners and customs of the periods represented, as well as the prevailing methods of artistic arrangements of apparel and jewels. The selection of the costumes and jewels for the occasion showed unusual cleverness, as well as a thorough knowledge of what was required for each individual actor for his role.

Many supposedly true living pictures of ancient high life in the Orient have been presented in private and public in New York City in recent years, but none, within the memory, at least, of 400 men and women who gathered in the studio of Mr. Louis C. Tiffany, that was more faithful in historical delineation, more theatrically beautiful or realistic than that given by Mr. Tiffany for the amusement of his friends.

Tiffany came dressed as an “Oriental potentate” in a turban headdress, silk robes, and jewels. His daughter Julia Tiffany Parker was likewise exotically attired.

MR. TIFFANY AS AN EASTERN POTENTATE WITH JEWELED SANDALS AND TURBAN.



MISS HEDWIG REICHER(CLEOPATRA) and MR. TIFFANY


The Queen, who was impersonated by Hedwig Reieher, the actress, wore, what might best be described as scarab costume, for when she raised her arms the outline of her headdress and body suggested that of the sacred beetle.

MR. LOUIS TIFFANY



MR. LOUIS TIFFANY
 Whose interest and knowledge of Egyptian art has been the inspiration for one of the most interesting entertainments ever given in New York.
 


MR. LOUIS TIFFANY

MR. LOUIS TIFFANY



MR. LOUIS TIFFANY


MR. LOUIS TIFFANY



Pedro de Cordoba(who played Marc Anthony)



MR. JOSEPH LINDON SMITH
Of Boston, the artist who is the author of the pageant pantomime given on the studio stage.


MR. JOSEPH LINDON SMITH



GRETA  TORPADIE 
As the Slave Girl in the Egyptian Fete given by Mr. Tiffany.





Greta Torpadie, the talented young singer whose appearance in social circles this season have been very successful. One of the most complete triumphs she had Tuesday evening was at an elaborate entertainment at Mr. Louis Tiffany. Miss Torpadie, appearing as a slave girl, sang excepts from "Lakme". The lovely quality of her voice and her remarkable talent won instantaneous favor. The Musical leader Feb. 13, 1913 




Dressed as Romans , left to right, Attilo PiccirilliLangdon Geer, an unidentified man, Pedro de Cordoba, Austin StrongHoward Greenley, and Theodore Steinway.


Left to right: Mrs. Charles Tiffany(Katrina Ely), Tiffany's daughter-in-law, and Julia Tiffany Parker and Dorothy Tiffany, Tiffany's daughters.



Mrs. Charles Tiffany, winged like a scarab, posed with Mr. Theodore N. Ely of Philadelphia and his two daughters





Mrs. Charles Tiffany

MRS. BURDEN PARKER
 One of Mr. Tiffany's daughters, whose costume expressed the true Egyptian spirit.


MRS. BURDEN PARKER



PEACOCK HEADRESS 


DR. GEORGE F. KUNZ
 As an Arab sheik in burnoose and turban, and armed to the teeth.



MRS. E. P. SPERRY


PAUL SWAN




Paul Spencer Swan (June 5, 1883 – February 1, 1972) was an American painter, sculptor, dancer, poet and actor. Once billed as "the most beautiful man in the world."



PAUL SWAN





MRS. ABBY SNELL BURNELL
Fashions Exquisitely Draped Garments From Only Eight Yards of Cloth.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTY GOERS




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This group, composed of Dr. A. Piatt Andrew, Miss Cecilia Beaux, Mr. Henry SleeperMrs. Henry P. Davison, and the Misses Dorothea and Rosamond Gilder, is representative of the wonderful diversity of the costumes. Vogue March 15, 1913


UNIDENTIFIED PARTY GOERS

UNIDENTIFIED PARTY GOERS PLAYFULY STRIKING EGYPTIAN POSES



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MR. J. SANFORD SALTUS
 An American who lives much in Paris, went as an Egyptian nobleman.
MR. J. SANFORD SALTUS




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Mr. ROBERT V. V. SEWELL
The well-known mural decorator, in his battle array of chain mail, spear, sword, and shield. 
Vogue March 15, 1913






Standing Left to Right - Mr. V. Everit MacyMr. Albert HerterMr. Seton Henry, Mr. Voruz. Kneeling - Mrs. Macy, Mrs. Herter. and Mrs. Pliny Fisk.



A gorgeous bit of color in the audience was furnished by Albert Herter, who was enveloped in flowing robes of peacock blue satin with massive turban and jeweled aigrette. Many of the guests collaborated in their costuming, going in groups. Thus could the delegations from the peoples of Cleopatra's time be distinguished. A score of men and women who reside in and near Washington Square formed an East Indian group. Mr. and Mrs. V. Everit Macy, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Herter, Mrs. Pliny Fisk, Mr. Seton Henry and Mr. Voruz formed colorful Turkish group, the women as vendors of flowers and fruits, which they carried in large flat baskets upon their heads. New York Herald Feb. 9, 1913


UNIDENTIFIED PARTY GOERS

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MRS. J. D. ROCKEFELLER, JR.
Wore a Minerva costume consisting of white draperies with an Athenian headdress and a wonderful robe.



MR. ROCKEFELLER
Appeared as a Persian.


Another American feature, after Cleopatra's rule was relaxed, and following a Delmonico supper of eight course , was the jolly turkey-trotting into which Mr. John D Rockefeller, Jr., entered industriously, retaining, however, the stern expression of his turban denoting the rank of a Persian prince. 




UNIDENTIFIED PARTY GOER

Mrs. JOHN A. HARTWELL



One of the most gorgeously as well as appropriately dressed among the guests was Mrs. John A. Hartwell, who represented an Egyptian princess. A heavily jeweled headdress held in place draperies that fell in folds about her body. Through the open folds of the front could be seen a corsage of ancient Egyptian jewelry. New York Herald Feb. 9 , 1913

UNIDENTIFIED PARTY GOER



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DOROTHY, WILLIAM, SHELDON AND ETHEL STEWART
A group of youthful slaves who preceded the entrance of Cleopatra.



As was his custom, Tiffany included younger members of his family and those of close friends, costumed to perform some role. The Stewart children (de Forest grandchildren) were dressed as youthful slaves and “preceded the entrance of Cleopatra.” 


JOHN W. ALEXANDER

Mr. Alexander appeared as an Egyptian mummy, wrapped in mummy cloth with a head piece and eyes for the soul, all so natural that he appeared to have stepped out of a case in the Metropolitan Museum. He stood motionless, leaning against the wall of the terrace during the pageant, and was finally brought to life before supper was served.


MR. THOMAS ROBINS AND MR. DON BARBER AS EGYPTIAN SLAVE DEALERS.


MR. DONN BARBER


MRS. AUSTIN STRONG
 In wonderful colors and clinging lines that are becoming in every century.


MRS. AUSTIN STRONG


MR. HAROLD H. WEEKES
as an Egyptian Priest.



MR. F. LUIS MORA



Mrs. Louis Mora


Mrs. F. Luis Mora and Her Sister, 1902
F. Luis Mora



MISS KATHERINE TWEED
 Miss Tweed, granddaughter of Wm. M. Evarts, as a Bacchante of Cleopatra's time.



All the servants were in red and white with red fezes and white sashes, their skirts extending to the knees.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was personally interested in ancient Egypt and took numerous trips to north Africa, and in 1908 embarked upon a voyage sailing the Nile. 


Egyptian Deities cigarettes

Ruth St. Denis, a pioneer in American modern dance, was unrolled from an oriental carpet and performed before the costumed audience. St. Denis had been influenced early on by Eastern themes, and it was a figure of Isis on an advertisement for Egyptian Deities cigarettes which helped inspire her to begin a dance career. 



TIFFANY STUDIO
345 Madison Avenue


The large gallery of the Tiffany Studios showroom, also called the rug room, was transformed to give it an Eastern flavor, with Tiffany wares as props. Walls were hung with Oriental carpets, and piles of rugs and divans were set around the floor for the guests to recline or sit on.


The overall concept of the event was undoubtedly Tiffany’s, but to give it authenticity he enlisted the help of Joseph Lindon Smith (1863-1950), a designer and Egyptology specialist from Boston whom Tiffany had met on his trip to Egypt with his daughters Comfort and Julia in the winter of 1908. Smith provided many of the components that satisfied Tiffany’s absorbing attention to detail, which involved months of preparation and about two weeks of work in the Tiffany Studios showroom, for which Tiffany paid him $1,000. Smith, who made several sketches to suggest specific types of costumes, himself arrived in shimmering patterned silks and a striped turban. The painter John White Alexander (1856-1915), then president of the National Academy of Design, and the sculptor Francis Tonetti (1863-1920) helped to supervise the guests’ costumes, which were said to have been inspired by the collections of the Metropolitan Museum. 

Vocal music performed by Greta Torpadie included the “Bell Song” from Delibes’s Lakme, and strains from Verdi’s Aida echoed through the rooms. 

The Steinway firm supplied more than one piano for the evening.




Such was the success and applause of this party that it created a stir that rustled on the pages of newspapers and magazines around the world. One said “a more astounding array has never been seen on any stage nor a more daring combination ever contrived."

MOST LAVISH COSTUME FETE EVER SEEN IN NEW YORK. New York Times February 16, 1913

Louis C. Tiffany's Egyptian Pageant, given in his studio at 345 Madison Avenue on February 4, was distinctive both for the historical accuracy of its settings and gorgeousness of its costumes, the designers of which were John W. Alexander, Mrs. Edward P. Sperry, and Francis Tonetti. The staging was directed by J. Lindon Smith of Boston. For the entertainment, which was a combination dramatic and social affair, weeks of preparation had been necessary and the stage was more spacious than those of many theaters. 

What The Tattler Says about Mr. Tiffany's Egyptian Fete and Societies Fad for the Original February 9, 1913 - 

CLEOPATRA had an evening at home last week. Louis Tiffany helped her to it, providing his big and beautiful studios on Madison Avenue for the fete on Tuesday night - Time rolled back a couple of thousand years just so soon as the picturesquely costumed guests stepped over the threshold of the softly lighted salon, where heaps of rugs served as seats, rugs of silky softness and inimitable colors hung from the walls, and graceful jars of pottery and Tiffany glass. Interspersed with trays of tropical fruit, served as a bric-a-brac on the dais where later the supposedly realistic page from a day in the life of the great Egyptian Queen was unrolled.

It was all absolutely B. C., and it was interesting to watch how the demeanor of the guests altered with their change of costumes. The women were gorgeous and graceful, not dignified. How could they he, doubled up on a soft seat a few inches from the floor and with never a brace to their backs? Their sandalled feet were quite in the picture, but the New York walk was forgotten. Take the average woman, loosen her hair, put sandals on her feet and loose Oriental robes in place of the modern costume, and she is apt to glide rather than hop, languish rather than stare, and become harmoniously sympathetic rather than fashionably blasĂ©. The smugly conservative opera contingent was a thing forgotten. Glorious Egypt ruled—for a night.

The entire scene during and after the performance was one of barbaric splendor. Mr. Tiffany is to be congratulated upon having given New York the most absolutely novel, artistic and historically accurate pageant in this season of elaborate entertainments when originality has been the keynote of success. 

EVENING MAIL FEB. 5, 1913 Last night was one of the most notable from a social point of view that New York has seen in years. Louis C. Tiffany's Egyptian fete at his studio. Madison Avenue and Forty-fifth street, was the most original and picturesque entertainment of a season that has been filled with costume parties. 

Vogue March 15, 1913 - The historical accuracy of the costuming of these Roman generals and the professional effectiveness of their posing were in accord with the prevailing technical perfection and continuity of the entire pageant. 

The Anaconda Standard Feb. 11, 1913 - No expense was spared by Mr. Tiffany in his effort to reproduce a picture of Egypt at the time of Cleopatra, and his friends entered into the spirit of the occasion with such enthusiasm that they studied the writings of authorities on manners and customs of antiquity and consulted a committee of artists before selecting their costumes. Indeed, such a consultation with Messrs. John W. Alexander and Francois Tonetti and Mrs. Edward Peck Sperry was imperative by Mr. Tiffany.

New York Herald Feb. 9, 191- To the three hundred guests who attended Mr. Louis C. Tiffany's Egyptian fete last Tuesday night it seemed as if a rub of Aladdin's lamp had transformed the studio ballroom at Madison avenue and Forty-fifth street into an Oriental scene. Rich hangings from the East hid everything mural that suggested the present. The blue Mediterranean and a strip of sun baked desert could be seen through the openings in the terrace walls of a yellow palace. 

  
 Evening Mail Feb. 5, 1913
Shrove Tuesday’s midnight chimes found the host’s Madison avenue studio as near a reproduction of Cleopatra’s court in the days when Antony came to conquer and remained to wood as art and money could make it in these prosaic days. The land of the pyramids gave freely of its treasures to add verisimilitude and the costumes of society’s best known, people were closely patterned after the garb worn when Egypt was in its  glory. 

                           Chicago Record Herald March 2, 1913 

JOHN P. ROCKEFELLER JR. told at Louis Tiffany's Egyptian fete in New York a story that conveys a lesson.

The story was elicited by an account of the daily life of the modern young man who dissipates.

"But where do all these things lead?"

Mr. Rockefeller said. "I know a sagacious man of affairs whose daughter came to him one night and said: "Father, dear; would you object to my marring a fast young man?"

"Not if he's going in the right direction,' was the father's wise reply." 

The New York Herald of May 9, 1914, carried the following more or less casual item regarding a forthcoming social event:

“With memories of Mr. Tiffany’s Egyptian Fete of a season ago still fresh in our memories, there is unusual interest among his friends in invitations which he has just issued for an entertainment at Laurelton, his place at Cold Spring Harbor, L. I. Mr. Tiffany’s invitations ask his friends "to inspect the spring flowers."

Lent 1988 by Henry Platt, great-grandson of Tiffany. The scrapbook was compiled by an employee of the firm in 1919 and given to Tiffany as a gesture of affection by the employee. Originals returned to the lender, Henry B. Platt, after microfilming. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Colorized by using Pixbim ColorSurprise AI.


Henry Barstow Platt, the great-great-grandson of Tiffany & Co.’s founder and the one who gave tanzanite its name, died at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. on July 22. He was 91.   

Tiffany Necklace, circa 1913