Limited Edition Obelisk
A CAST BRONZE LIMITED EDITION OBELISK BY TIFFANY & COMPANY, NEW YORK (American, 1881) after a model copyrighted by Henry H. Gorringe. The obelisk is a reduction model of "Cleopatra's Needle" an obelisk erected at the temple of the sun god Re in Heliopolis by the pharaoh Tuthmosis III about 1500 B.C., and removed to Alexandria by the Romans circa 12 B.C. and re-erected at the temple of Caesar. Construction on the actual obelisk was begun by Cleopatra as a mausoleum for her husband, Mark Anthony. It was presented to the United States by the Egyptian Khedive, Ismail Pasha, in 1879. The removal, transportation and re-erection of the monolith in New York's Central Park, behind the Metropolitan Museum was funded by William Henry Vanderbilt. This limited edition commemorative scale model of the January 22, 1881 re-erection was #14 in a series offered individuals and donors who were involved with the removal from Egypt and the obelisk's installation in New York. This model is inscribed to New York attorney Sidney Webster and is "Antique Bronze No. 14". The shaft is inscribed with hieroglyphs after the Antique on all faces, with modern history of re-erection added. The column sits on four crab form supports resting on a stepped plinth. The base bottom inscribed with Greek and English dedicatory inscription and history.
H: 15" Base: 3 1/4"
Purchased by The Preservation Society of Newport County, 2005.
Model #13 (in silver) published as catalogue #35: "The Cornelius Vanderbilts of The Breakers", 1995 by Armin B. Allen.
For more information about this item, please contact its owning institution.