An English Antique 15 karat gold necklace with amethyst, diamond and pearl. The necklace has an oval cut amethyst approximately 9.50 carats, 30 old mine-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of .30 carats, and 24 natural pearls approximately 2mm. With enamel plaques in a Renaissance Revival motif.
An important American Arts & Crafts decorated silver box by Elizabeth Ethel Copeland. This rectangular box rests on four compressed bun feet. Decorated on all faces and the slightly raised lid with orange flowers and green leaves in polychrome enamel in octagonal cloisonné plaques amid ornamental designs in silver wire. The lid is hinged. Elizabeth Edith Copeland was a talented enamellist and metalsmith of the Arts & Crafts period. Despite having her artistic ambitions repressed for years, Copeland at the age of 30 managed to juggle her daily duties on her family''s dairy farm with art and design classes in Boston. Back on the farm, she pored over her notes while ironing, remarking drolly that "No doubt the garments suffered." Thankfully, she persisted, attracting the attention of a wealthy patron, Sarah Choate Sears, herself an accomplished photographer and watercolorist who had won prizes at four world expositions. Sears sent Copeland to London for a year to apprentice under the great enamellist Alexander Fisher. Along with the extraordinary Josephine Hartwell Shaw, Copeland earned the prestigious "Medalist" title from the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts. Her metalwork and jewelry have entered the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This silver box shows Copeland at her best, with richly colo
red orange poppies attesting to her deep affinity with the Renaissance enamellists of centuries past.A student of medieval enameling, Copeland believed the ''honest'' hand work and craftsmanship of her unique creations should be celebrated, differentiating her work from the meticulously finished objects of the 19th century. Many of her pieces reflect her appreciation of Limoges enamels from the 12th through 15th centuries. Elizabeth Ethel Copeland was born with her twin sister, Frannie, in North Chelsea (now Revere), MA on August 23, 1866. By the late 1870''s, her family had moved to a farm in Bedford, where they sold a range of products - dairy, eggs, chicken, and fruit - with an estimated value of $1,345.00 in 1879. (2) An image from Google Maps shows the farm house (with later front room addition) at 394 North Road in Bedford. Period maps show a small barn behind where the garage is today. Even though Copeland and her sister moved to Boston, land records indicate they continued to own and rent the farm into the 1920''s. In her 30''s, Copeland started traveling into Boston once a week for art instruction. During a metalworking class, she became friends with Sarah Choate Sears, a philanthropist and leader of the Arts and Crafts movement. Sears became Copeland''s patron and financed her for a year in London to study metalsmithing and enameling. Copeland produced work that was widely acclaimed as some of the finest of her era. Considered one of the best colorists of her time working in the very difficult (not to mention unforgiving) medium of enamel, she sold her works through arts and crafts societies with many of her boxes priced around $100.00 (3). Her work was included in juried Arts and Crafts exhibitions in Boston, Chicago and Detroit; she exhibited at the Saint Louis ''Louisiana Purchase'' Universal Exposition of 1904 (4) and won a bronze metal at the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 (5). In 1916, she was awarded the ''Medalist'' designation by the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, their highest achievement - and the first enameler so honored (6). Boston directory listings indicate that over her career, Copeland variously called herself a ''metalworker'', ''enameler'' and ''artist''. Indeed, her work includes all these talents. In Boston, she lived in boarding houses, primarily on Brimmer and Newbury Streets. She retired at about the age of 70 in 1936, around the time that Social Security was being introduced. The Arts and Crafts movement, meant to bring ''honest'' handwork back into craftsmanship, coincided with many other important changes in American society. Women started asserting themselves in the workplace, at the craft bench, in sport and in the voting booth. At the same time, American society changed from predominantly rural and agrarian to urban. Copeland''s life was on the vanguard of many of these important changes. Today, her work appears on the market only rarely and is highly sought after by museums and collectors. Many major museums have her work in their collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (promised gift); and the Art Institute of Chicago. The following engaging account of her story and workshop is by Hazel Adler in the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine of 1916: In Boston our first objective point was the workshop of Elizabeth Copeland, enameler. Entering the dim room on the second floor back of an old building, we came upon a tall woman, garbed in an all-inclusive apron, moving with business like precision between two long tables laden with an assortment of tools and broken bits of colored glass and wires. As we approached one table we saw a little silver box the cover and sides of which were being filled with brilliant, translucent enamels of such colorful and imaginative charm that for a moment we almost imagined that we were looking at the opalescent green lights in the depths of the sea or the blue of deep evening or the purple shadows of the moon. One needs to know very little about enamel to feel the spontaneity and beauty of this work, but when one stops to consider that enamel is one of the most difficult means of artistic expression and has deteriorated gradually since its high-water mark in the fifteenth century, we turn to look again at this retiring New England woman whose art rivals some of the glorious achievements of the Renaissance. The story of Miss Copeland''s life is touched with many of the romantic qualities which lie in her work. From the endless duties of a rural household she managed with great effort to escape once a week during four years to come up to Boston to an art school without hope or possibility of ever increasing her vision or powers beyond what this school had to give her. In the fourth year she entered the metal-working class, and there attracted the attention of Mrs. J. M. Sears, a patron of enamels and herself an enameler. Through her sympathetic understanding and beneficence the gate of opportunity was suddenly flung open to the unbelieving girl, and she was sent abroad to study enameling under the greatest teachers the time afforded. Making herself independent of Mrs. Sears''s generosity as soon as possible, although her kindness is still a source of inspiration for every new piece of work, she established herself in the little back room in Boylston Street, and worked away day after day from early morning until evening, evolving new ideas and new possibilities, knowing her existence will never be long enough to achieve them all. Some of her work has found its way into Mrs. Sothern''s [Julia Marlowe Sothern was a famous Shakespearean actor and important patron of the arts & crafts movement, including Arthur Stone''s shop] notable collection of American craftsmanship, and into a few of our most progressive American art museums. (7) Endnotes: 2. ''Schedule 2. - Productions of Agriculture'' in Bedford, 9 & 10 June 1880, Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, from Ancestry.com accessed 23 March 2015. 3. Pricing information is culled from surviving financial records of the Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit in the Archives of American Art. 4. Official Catalog of Exhibits: Universal Exposition Saint Louis 1904, (St. Louis: Official Catalog Company, 1904), p. 77. 5. Jeannine Falino and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., "Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000," (Boston: MFA Publications, 2008), p. 337. 6. Karen E. Ulehla, The Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston Exhibition Record 1897-1927, (Boston: Boston Public Library, 1981), p. 59 and Allen H. Eaton, Handicrafts of New England, (New York: Harper Brothers, 1949), p. 285. 7. ''American Craftsmen'' by Hazel H. Adler in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, The Century Co., May - Oct, 1916, pp. 890-892.
A Tiffany Studios New York Art Nouveau "Magnolia", gold, white, pink, red, and green enamel on copper vase, by Louis Comfort Tiffany. This bespoke "Magnolia" enamel vase was designed from watercolor renderings and photographs from the enamel department''s lead designer, Agnes Northrop. Northrop depicted the saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) on this enamel vase, an Asian variety that was hybridized in France and then introduced in this country in the early nineteenth century. Magnolias were among Tiffany''s favorite flowers, so much so that three "Magnolia" window panels decorated his first 72nd Street home and his garden estate, Laurelton Hall. In an interview for Town and Country Magazine, Tiffany compared his enameled vases against sapphires, topaz, opal, aquamarine, and other stones, and concluded that the enamels "showed much more depth and perspective than were found in the stones", an insight sensitively demonstrated in this monumental and masterful vase.Tiffany took a painterly, impressionist approach to his enamel work, in intentional contrast to renowned Japonesque and Renaissance Revival masters like Eugene Richet (enamel master for the house of Fontenay), Antoine Tard (enamel master for the house of Falize), and Paul Briançon (House of René Lalique). Much in the way that Tiffany used gemstones in his early jewels as mere means to achieve color effects and mome
ntary impressions of nature, here, his use of opulent, varicolored enamel conveys the essence of the flowers on the verge of full bloom, already overspilling the form.There was some minor touch up to the enamel at the top, otherwise it''s in lovely original condition. This Magnolia vase was exhibited in the Japanese leg of the Tiffany Masterworks exhibition that originated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art several years ago.
An English Victorian 15 karat gold locket. The polished oval locket and bail with vertically-set cable chain wirework motif, opening to an interior with double compartments enclosed under glass panes, with interior inscription "Mary Graham May 6, 1873." Lockets became items of sentimental jewelry in the Renaissance, when Queen Elizabeth commissioned a locket ring, which she never took off, containing a portrait of her mother, Anne Boleyn, in one compartment and herself in the other. In the era of Queen Victoria, lockets were often given to commemorate romance, birthdays, or a new baby, and contained portraits of loved ones.
A French Art Nouveau "Algues et Poissons" cameo glass vase by Daum, from a design by Henri Bergé, featuring a sensitively rendered enamel painting of seascape of fish, crayfish, and hermit crabs feeding on flowering algae. The vase consists of an intercalaire layer of blue and green powdered glass cased in burgundy glass carved with delicate algae stems. The vase demonstrates Bergé''s early experimentation with underwater imagery, preceding his collaboration with legendary glass artist Amalric Walter.Bergé''s inclusion of crayfish imagery reflects the 19th century''s renewed interest in the work of Renaissance artist Bernard Palissy. Palissy created naturalist works spangled with ceramic castings of animals of the New World. Among Palissy''s favorite motifs was the crayfish, newly discovered in the French colony of Louisiana. Palissy''s works decorated the most eminent courts of Europe, from the Medicis to the gardens of Marie Antoinette. A similar vase is pictured in: "Daum Nancy: Maîtres Verriers," by Katharina Büttiker, Zurich: Galerie Katharina Büttiker, 2001, p. 25.
An American Art Nouveau 14 karat gold black opal, diamond and enamel ring by Marcus & Co. Centering a black opal cabochon framed by 27 old mine-cut diamonds, approximate total weight of 0.65 carat, further enhanced by blue and green basse-taille enamel surround and shoulders with chased high-relief gold scroll and bead motifs throughout.Note: The multi-generational New York firm of Marcus & Co was founded by an ambitious young German immigrant who had trained at a prominent Dresden court jeweler. In 1892, after working with Charles Lewis Tiffany, Hermann Marcus and his sons William and George together set up a business that soon became a glittering New York society institution renowned not only for its superb diamonds, colored stones and pearls, but also its instantly-recognizable, original design style. The firm produced great jewels in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts sensibility, with George, the artist/designer, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse and exotic as the contemporary French masters, the Moghuls and Maharajahs, the garland style of the Ancien Regime, and the genius of Renaissance goldsmiths. George''s distinctive, confident hand was always discernible in Marcus creations. Working as a team with George, his brother William was a gem and pearl connoisseur who travelled the world hunting fine gem material, including purchasing the entire production of neve
r--before-seen black opal in Lightning Ridge, Australia in 1908. Marcus exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, and their work won prizes at the prestigious Society of Arts & Crafts of Boston. Plique-a-jour enamel was an art in which Marcus & Co. excelled, creating jewels with unprecedented three-dimensional depth in this medium. The firm and family were well-known for their charitable activities and promotion of young jewelers such as Raymond Yard.
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