Some designs are instant classics that will never age; others are provocative and positively ahead of their time. Elsa Peretti’s ergonomic Bone cuff, designed for Tiffany & Co. in the 1970s, manages to straddle both categories.
The sensuous curves of the Tiffany & Co. Bone cuff, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, were actually inspired by the dead rather than the living. When designing the cuff, which was lauded as a ground-breaking design upon its release, Peretti drew inspiration from childhood trips to the Capuchin crypt in Rome, a room beneath the 17th century Santa Maria della Concezione del Cappuccini church that is decorated with thousands of human bones.
Peretti also noted the influence that Casa Milà, Antoni Gaudí’s striking 1912 building in Barcelona with an undulating façade and surrealist sculptural roof, had on the design. Compare the two, and the curves seem synonymous.
Above all, Peretti wanted this thought-provoking cuff to be as enjoyable to wear as it was to talk about. “I have always been interested in the mechanics and its feel,” said Peretti, who designed the jewels to be worn both singly and as a pair. “Every jewellery piece should be captivating and comfortable to wear.”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tiffany & Co. Bone cuff designed by Peretti, the jewel has been given a modern update through colour. In a nod to Peretti’s love of bright colours, these new editions of the copper Bone cuffs have been been lavished with electric reds, blues and greens. Each of these special edition cuffs features a celebratory inscription on the inside of the design.
The 50th anniversary celebrations will continue throughout the year, with new additions to the Bone cuff collection being launched in the coming months. In September, Tiffany & Co will launch an 18ct yellow gold Bone cuff with green jade accents. Silver editions with black jade or turquoise details will follow in October.