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Maker & Muse WOMEN AND EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY ART JEWELRY

Maker & Muse features examples of jewelry created between 1880 and around 1930. During this vibrant period, jewelry makers created audacious new styles in response to growing industrialization and the changing role of women in society. Their designs—boldly artistic, exquisitely detailed, hand wrought, and inspired by nature—became known as art jewelry.

BRITISH ARTS AND CRAFTS JEWELRY

The Arts and Crafts movement flourished in Great Britain during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Brought about by a reaction against industrialization and mass production, the movement also embraced related social and political causes like fair labor practices and women’s rights. Made by hand, Arts and Crafts jewelry was intended to be affordable and accessible to anyone with an artistic eye.

Mrs. Philip (Charlotte) Newman (English, 1840–1927) Pendant, 1884-90. Gold, amethyst, enamel. Collection of Newark Museum. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

Charlotte Newman, also known as Mrs. Newman, was the first woman to be recognized as a jeweler in her own right in England in the mid to late 1800s. Her designs are eclectic and well executed. Mrs. Newman’s success in the traditionally male profession inspired many women in the Arts and Crafts movement to become jewelers.

Mrs. Philip (Charlotte) Newman (English, 1840–1927) Necklace in original box, c. 1890. Gold, pearl, aquamarine. Collection of Tereza M. M. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.
Unknown maker (European) Brooch, c. 1880. Gold, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Unknown maker (English) Saint Cecilia Necklace, c. 1900. Silver, enamel, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
C. Blanche Davies (English, unknown) Pendant/Brooch, c. 1905–10. Silver, gold, enamel, sapphire. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Traditional firm Child & Child, began by making neo-Renaissance jewelry. Later, they created beautiful enameled pieces often featuring peacock, insect, or wing motifs, which today are acknowledged as a form of art jewelry.

Attributed to Child & Child (English, 1880–1916) Peacock Comb, c. 1900. Tortoiseshell, gold, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Many male jewelers in the Arts and Crafts movement had originally trained as architects or artists and became interested in metalworking as another medium to express their talents and sell their work.

Attributed to Guild of Handicraft (English, 1888–1907) Double-Sided Necklace, c. 1900. Gold, sapphire, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

In 1888, architect Charles Robert Ashbee founded the Guild of Handicraft to teach young men in need how to make a living in metalwork, furniture, and bookbinding.

Charles Robert Ashbee (English, 1863–1942) for Guild of Handicraft (English, 1888–1907) Necklace, c. 1900. Gold, opal, pink tourmaline, amethyst, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

The jewelry produced by the Guild of Handicraft inspired the work of other collectives, including The Artificers’ Guild founded by Nelson Dawson.

The Artificers’ Guild (English, 1901–42) Pendant, c. 1900. Gold, silver, opal, sapphire, zircon, tourmaline, amethyst, almandine garnet, moonstone, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.
Edward Spencer (English, 1872–1938) for The Artificers’ Guild Pendant, c. 1905. Gold, sapphire, garnet, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Joseph A. Hodel (English, c. 1873–1930) The Venus Necklace, c. 1905. Silver alloy, gold alloy, enamel, fire opal, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Ella Naper studied with Frederick James Partridge, an important Arts and Crafts jeweler. Together they opened a shop in Devon, England. Both she and Partridge were clearly influenced by René Lalique’s designs and by his use of atypical materials, such as horn.

Ella Naper (English, 1886–1972) Lily-Pad Hair Combs, c. 1906. Horn, moonstone. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.
Attributed to Frederick James Partridge (English, 1877–1942) Locket, c. 1905. Porcelain, gold, horn. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Partridge's wife May was a highly skilled enamellist, and tragically took her own life at a young age. Due to her short career, she left only a small body of work, and her jewelry is exceedingly rare.

May Partridge (English, unknown–1917) Flame Brooch, c. 1900. Silver, enamel. Private collection.

There were a number of husband-and-wife partnerships in Britain’s jewelry movement, such as Nelson and Edith Dawson, Arthur and Georgie Gaskin, and Harold and Phoebe Stabler.

Attributed to Nelson Dawson (English, 1859–1941) and Edith Dawson (English, 1862–1928) Floral Mirror and Brush, c. 1905. Silver, enamel, mirrored glass. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Although historically women may always have worked side by side with their husbands in the jewelry business, wives were now being recognized as equal partners with their husbands.

(top) Harold and Phoebe Stabler, Dancers Pendant, 1922. Silver, cloisonné enamel. (bottom left) Attributed to Nelson and Edith Dawson Miniature Casket, c. 1900. Silver, enamel, moonstone, silk. (bottom right) Nelson and Edith Dawson Three-Leaf Clover Scarf Slide, c. 1900. Silver, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Attributed to Nelson and Edith Dawson, Birds in the Trees Cloak Clasp, c. 1900. Silver, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
(left) Kate M. Eadie Brooch, c. 1910. Silver, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. (right) Jessie Marion King for W. H. Haseler & Co.(English, est. 1850) Belt Buckle, 1901. Silver, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Henry Charles Barker (English, 1865–1950) Galleon Pendant, c. 1915. Silver-gilt, copper alloy, enamel, abalone, baroque pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

The first generation of women to make Arts and Crafts jewelry began working around 1900 and were largely self-taught. By the time the second generation of female jewelers emerged in the 1920s, they had the benefit of learning from those who came before them, often by taking classes in jewelry making.

Sybil Dunlop Necklace and Earring Set, c. 1930. Silver, chalcedony, moonstone, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Sybil Dunlop and Dorrie Nossiter are the best-known female jewelers of this second generation. Dunlop had a shop in London where she designed her jewelry and had workmen execute it. Nossiter also worked in London. Their vibrant works are more abstract than earlier Arts and Crafts designs, and it can be difficult to tell their jewelry apart.

Dorrie Nossiter (English, 1893–1977) Peacock Clip, c. 1930. Silver, gold, moonstone, sapphire, pearl. Collection of Inese T. Driehaus.

THE FEMALE FIGURE IN ART NOUVEAU

Known for its curvaceous, sinuous lines, Art Nouveau jewelry is perhaps the most popular and recognizable style of art jewelry. Art Nouveau jewelry was designed for a wealthy and artistically minded clientele, and was most frequently worn by performers like famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. Although only one female maker of Art Nouveau jewelry is known, the jewelry itself often focused on the decorative possibilities of the female figure.

Joë Descomps Three Graces Pendant, c. 1900. Gold, plique-à-jour enamel, diamond, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.
Paul Frey (French, b. 1855) Entwined Sea Horse Pendant, c. 1895. Silver, opal, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Gaston Eugène Omar Laffitte (French, active c. 1900) Brooch, c. 1900. Gold, enamel, diamond, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Léopold van Strydonck (Belgian, 1865–1939) Belt Buckle, c. 1900. Silver-gilt, emerald, zircon, diamond. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Elizabeth Bonté is the only known woman designer of French Art Nouveau jewelry. She eventually merged her business with that of Georges Pierre, who was making similar jewelry.

Elizabeth Bonté (French, unknown) Pendant, c. 1900. Horn, silk, glass. Private collection.
Unknown maker (French) Belt Buckle in original box, c. 1900. Parcel-gilt copper alloy. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

Renowned glass designer and jeweler René Lalique opened his first shop in Paris in 1886. His work features materials not ordinarily used for high-end jewelry, including glass, horn, semiprecious stones, enamel, and ivory. Lalique’s concern was not the value of the materials, but rather the integrity and beauty of the design.

Rene Lalique, Three Peonies Pendant Brooch, c. 1900. Gold, enamel, glass, diamond, Baroque pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

Nature served as a constant inspiration for Lalique, as did the subject of women, who populate many of his pieces as fantastical hybrid creatures or as classical, literary, or contemporary heroines.

René Lalique, Winged Sylph Brooch, c. 1900. Freshwater pearl, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

By the mid-1890s, Lalique was designing jewelry for the acclaimed actress Sarah Bernhardt. Soon after, his pieces created a sensation at Paris’s Exposition Universelle of 1900.

René Lalique (French, 1860–1945) Panel Brooch, c. 1900 Gold, enamel, diamond. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Attributed to Lucien Gaillard (French, 1861–1933) Hair Comb, c. 1900. Horn, sapphire. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Edouard Colonna Comb, c. 1900. Tortoiseshell, gold, pearl, turquoise. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Well known for his posters featuring the French actress Sarah Bernhardt, Alphonse Mucha (Czech, 1860–1939) also designed jewelry and other decorative art objects before turning to painting later in life.

Alphonse Mucha, Cigarette Case, n.d. Silver, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

Czech-born, Mucha studied in France as a young man, where he found success as a commercial graphic artist after being discovered by Bernhardt.

Alphonse Mucha, Têtes Byzantines, 1897. Lithograph. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Alphonse Mucha, Tête Byzantine Medallion, n.d. Bronze. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Alphonse Mucha, Têtes Byzantines, 1897. Lithograph. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

JUGENDSTIL IN GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

Art jewelry produced in Germany and Austria at the dawn of the twentieth century came under the umbrella of the Jugendstil (youth style) movement. As in Europe and the United States, it was an extreme departure from mainstream jewelry. Influenced by counterparts in Britain, France, and other countries, Jugendstil designers drew inspiration from nature, curvilinear lines, and the female form.

Wilhelm Lucas von Cranach (German, 1861–1918) Octopus Waist Clasp, c. 1900. Silver-gilt, opal, garnet, chalcedony. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

Jugendstil (“young style”) in Germany and Austria manifested itself in a number of different ways. In some instances, it resembled the work of French Art Nouveau designers, as exemplified in Karl Rothmüller’s mermaid brooch.

Karl Rothmüller, Mermaid Brooch, c. 1900. Gilded silver, coral, pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

This box set with malachite is an example of the Wiener Werkstätte’s “jewel-like” metalwork. Their tableware was made of silver and set with semiprecious stones, much like the jewelry they designed.

Koloman Moser (Austrian, 1868–1918) and Anton Pribil (Austrian, unknown) for the Wiener Werkstätte (Austrian, 1903–32) Kekedose, c. 1910. Silver, malachite. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Josef Hoffmann for the Wiener Werkstätte Ball Token for the Concordia Ball, 1909. Brass repoussé, leather. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

This pin was created for the hostess of the Cabaret Fledermaus. The Wiener Werkstätte also designed furniture and costumes for the cabaret.

Bertold Löffler for the Wiener Werkstätte Hostess Pin, c. 1907. Enameled nickel silver. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.
Unknown maker (German) Wallet, c. 1900. Silver, leather. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Attributed to Koloman Moser (Austrian, 1868–1918) and Georg Anton Scheidt (Austrian, unknown) Girl and Mistletoe Box, c. 1900. Silver-colored metal, enamel. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Fritz Wildprett (German, unknown) Painted Ivory Pendant, c. 1910. Watercolor on ivory set in silver. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY AND AMERICAN ART JEWELRY

Renowned American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) is best known for his glass vases, lamps, and leaded windows. However, Tiffany is also celebrated for the creation of some of the most stunning art jewelry of the early 1900s. Inspired by his extensive travels as well as nature, his favorite muse, Tiffany’s jewelry was revered by his affluent clientele for both his beautiful designs and high quality craftsmanship.

Tiffany Studios (American, 1902–32) Filigree Table Lamp, c. 1890s. Favrile glass, gilt-bronze. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Paulding Farnham (American, 1859–1927) for Tiffany Studios (American, 1902–32) Scent Bottle, c. 1900. Glass, enameled gold, diamond, peridot. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Necklace, c. 1900. Gold, black opal, boulder opal. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Necklace, c. 1910–20. Gold, opal, emerald, sapphire, enamel. Tiffany & Co. Archives.

Julia Munson studied art and design in New York and was one of the women hired by Louis Comfort Tiffany to work in his enamels department. For twelve years, she helped Tiffany develop jewelry designs, many of them inspired by Tiffany’s glass, mosaics, and metalwork.

Louis Comfort Tiffany and Julia Munson, Belt Buckle, c. 1907. Gold, copper, silver, azurite, enamel. Tiffany & Co. Archives.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Necklace, c. 1910. Montana sapphire, moonstone, platinum. Collection of Nelson Rarities.

When Munson married and left Tiffany Studios in 1914, Meta Overbeck replaced her and ran the jewelry department until it closed in 1932. Overbeck favored faceted gemstones in her designs, whereas Munson often used cabochon (unfaceted) stones. Necklaces with triple chains of gold and platinum became a common design under Overbeck’s influence.

Louis Comfort Tiffany and Meta Overbeck Necklace, 1914. Gold, favrile glass. Tiffany & Co. Archives.
Louis Comfort Tiffany and Meta Overbeck, Brooch and Pendant, c. 1918. Gold, Australian black opal, enamel. Newark Museum of Art.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Necklace and Pendant, c. 1915. Gold, platinum, chrysoberyl, yellow beryl, morganite, blue and yellow zircon, demantoid garnet, pearl. Tiffany & Co. Archives.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Necklace, c. 1918. 18K gold, platinum, tourmaline, diamond, natural pearl. Collection of Elizabeth Driehaus. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

CHICAGO ARTS AND CRAFTS JEWELRY

The alternative movement to mainstream jewelry took hold in many places across the United States with Chicago becoming one of the most important and prolific centers. Perhaps most significantly, Chicago had a great number of women producing jewelry in the Arts and Crafts style, including the highly successful Kalo Shop, founded by Clara Barck Welles.

The Kalo Shop (American, 1900–70) Brooch and Earrings, 1920. Sterling silver. Collection of Decotini.com.

Clara P. Barck (1867–1965) founded The Kalo Shop in 1900. In 1907, after her marriage to amateur silversmith George Welles, the couple founded the Kalo Arts Community Workshop. After her 1914 divorce, she worked exclusively on handwrought flatware and jewelry. At one point, she employed over 25 silversmiths as well as the women designers whom she nicknamed the “Kalo Girls.”

The Kalo Shop (American, 1900–70) (left) Paper Knife, c. 1900–15. Sterling silver. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. (right) Claret Spoon, 1920. Sterling silver. Collection of Decotini.com.
The Kalo Shop (American, 1900–70) Brooch, n.d. 14K yellow gold, opal. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

Elinor Evans Klapp took up jewelry design in her early forties and soon became one of the largest exhibitors in Chicago’s Arts and Crafts movement. In 1900, she presented 40 pieces in Paris’s Exposition Universelle, where she received an honorable mention and was the only American woman to appear in the jewelry category under her own name.

Elinor Evans Klapp (American, 1845–1915) Brooch, c. 1895–1914. Carved moonstone, silver or platinum. Collection of The Bronson Family. Photograph by Firestone and Parson.

In 1908, The Carence Crafters began to make jewelry and desk accessories with conventionalized designs on copper, brass, and silver.

The Carence Crafters, Stick Pins, c. 1910. Sterling silver, semiprecious stones. Collection of Boice Lydell.

Noticing the popularity of smaller Arts and Crafts shops, established Chicago retailers soon launched their own art jewelry lines. Marshall Field & Co. installed a workroom on the tenth floor of its State Street department store in 1904 to make handmade jewelry and tableware.

Marshall Field Silver Workshop (American, 1852–2006) Posy Holder Brooch, c. 1915. Sterling silver. Collection of Decotini.com.
The Art Silver Shop (American, 1917–35) Pendant in original box, c. 1920. Sterling silver, amethyst. Collection of Boice Lydell. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

Maker & Muse is ORGANIZED BY THE RICHARD M. DRIEHAUS MUSEUM AND TOURED BY INTERNATIONAL ARTS & ARTISTS, WASHINGTON, DC. The Pittsburgh presentation is made possible by The Richard C. von Hess Foundation. Additional support is provided by Henne Jewelers.

Credits:

Cover photo: Installation view of François-Raoul Larche (French, 1860–1912), Loïe Fuller Lamp, 1899–1905. Gilt-bronze, electrified. Collection of Macklowe Gallery. Photo by Ben Matthews. Photos by John Faier, Ben Matthews, Sarah Hall