Monday, November 20, 2017


We don't know precisely when Gustav Manz made his first ring depicting a young elephant emerging from tall grass, but the year he spent working in South Africa's diamond fields as a young man in the late 1880s clearly was formative. A version of this ring appears in an early photograph of his own jewelry designs for customers such as Tiffany & Co, Cartier, and Black, Starr & Frost, many incorporating lions, tigers, bears and other wildlife.  

After moving to New York in the early 1890s, Manz used his leisure time to sketch animals at the city's park zoos (where over time he earned enough trust from the keepers that he was permitted to borrow a mountain lion cub to study and sketch at his leisure). His miniature, highly realistic, representations of iconic species in precious metal became a hallmark and are highly coveted by collectors today. 

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