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.
Elizabeth Edith Copeland was a talented enamellist and metalsmith of the Arts & Crafts period. Her artistic ambitions were frustrated for years, but at the age of thirty Copeland found a way to juggle her daily duties on her family''s dairy farm with classes in art and design in Boston. She pored over her class notes while ironing, remarking drolly that "No doubt the garments suffered." Thankfully, she persisted, attracting the attention of a wealthy patron, Sarah Choate Sears, 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 renowned enamellist Alexander Fisher. Like her Boston colleague, the accomplished jeweler Josephine Hartwell Shaw, Copeland earned the prestigious "Medalist" title from the 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''s work at its best, the richly-colored poppies and senstiive, hand-wrought artistry attesting to her deep affinity with the enamellists of the Renaissance.A similarly exquisite enamel and silver box by Copeland is on view in the Metropolitan Museum of Art''s 150th Anniversary exhibition, "THE MET 150".The Detroit Institute of Arts has since 1919 had a Ciborium in silver and enamel as part of their collection.
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.
This exuberant ring, with its rich colors and materials, represents Marcus & Co.''s characteristic fusion of historic and global jewelry styles within the Art Nouveau sensibility. Along with the graduating lines of diamond melee framing the central stone, fields of glowing enamel among tiny hand-formed beads and textured gold scrolls help direct the eye toward the vividly colored opal, a specimen which is remarkable in its broad flash of reddish orange and its blue-green depths. The firm was an early and dominant importer of fabled Australian black opal into the U.S., thanks to the expertise and tireless gem-seeking expeditions of William Marcus, the founder''s son.Centering a black opal cabochon framed by 27 old mine-cut diamonds, approximate total weight of 0.65 carat, further enhanced by a blue and green basse-taille enamel surround and shoulders with chased high-relief gold scroll and bead motifs throughout.The multi-generational New York firm of Marcus & Co was founded by an ambitious young German immigrant who had trained with a prominent court jeweler in Dresden. 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 s
tyle. The firm produced great jewels in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts sensibility, with George, the artist/designer, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse 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, William was a gem and pearl connoisseur who travelled the world hunting for exceptional gem material, including purchasing the entire production of never-before-seen black opal from Lightning Ridge Australia in 1908. Marcus exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, and their work won prizes from the prestigious Society of Arts & Crafts of Boston. Plique-à-jour enamel was an art in which the firm excelled. Displaying a mastery equal to that of the French artists, they created 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. The firm''s jewelry is a focus of the collection of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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