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Arts and Crafts Metalwork and Jewelry

by John P. Walcher, Vice President and Senior Specialist


Metalwork and jewelry from the American Arts and Crafts Movement is seeing a strong renewal in collecting interest and scholarship. From recent and upcoming auctions at Toomey & Co., to new publications and exhibitions, there is quite a lot happening with material from this period. Presented here is an overview of significant events and essential resources.

The Paul & Terry Somerson Collection on May 5, 2019

Paul Somerson, Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson


On Sunday, May 5, Toomey & Co. will offer items from The Paul & Terry Somerson Collection of 20th and 21st Century Metalwork and Jewelry. This carefully curated, single-owner catalog sale draws on the largest private collection of American Arts and Crafts metalwork and jewelry.

Paul Somerson was a highly successful tech journalist during the 1980s and 1990s at PC Magazine and PC/Computing. He also authored the bestselling reference, DOS Power Tools. In 2001, Paul and his wife Terry began collecting American Arts and Crafts metalwork and jewelry as well as Stickley furniture, art pottery tiles, and vintage photography. Paul soon founded Chicago Silver, a comprehensive online guide to Chicago’s renowned Kalo Shop as well as other Arts and Crafts makers. On May 25, 2018, Paul passed away suddenly at age 68. We were deeply saddened by his passing, but we are honored to represent The Paul & Terry Somerson Collection in our upcoming sale.

To learn more about Paul’s life and the collection, visit our selected preview page.

Somerson Preview
 
Peer Smed, Calla Lily gravy boat sauce boat

Peer Smed
Calla Lily gravy/sauce boat on applied foot, with matching ladle

The Kalo Shop, pendant necklace

The Kalo Shop
pendant necklace

Mildred Watkins, Gondolier round lidded box

Mildred Watkins
Gondolier round lidded box


Art & Design
Auction on March 10, 2019


There were several Arts and Crafts metalwork and jewelry lots in our Art & Design auction on Sunday, March 10. Below are some highlights from the sale. Click on any lot image to view its catalog page.

View Full Catalog

 

The Kalo Shop, water pitcher with matching undertray

The Kalo Shop
water pitcher with matching undertray
Park Ridge, Illinois, 1908-1911
sterling silver
stamped marks
applied R monograms, engraved family crests
pitcher: 9″w x 7″d x 6 5/8″h; tray: 10″dia x 5/8″h
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Art & Design
Sale 118 Lot 388
March 10, 2019
Estimate $1,500-2,500
Sold for $1,750

Marshall Field & Co., coffee service

Marshall Field & Co.
coffee service: coffee pot, #4063; creamer, #4186; and sugar, #4062
Chicago, Illinois
sterling silver
stamped marks
banded repoussé decoration, engraved ESC monograms
coffee pot: 6 7/8″w x 3 1/2″d x 7 5/8″h
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Art & Design
Sale 118 Lot 405
March 10, 2019
Estimate $800-1,200
Sold for $875

The Kalo Shop, lobed oval bowl with applied spherical feet, #J608

The Kalo Shop
lobed oval bowl with applied spherical feet, #J608
Chicago, Illinois
sterling silver
stamped marks
engraved M monogram
9 13/16″w x 5 5/8″d x 2 3/4″h
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Art & Design
Sale 118 Lot 407
March 10, 2019
Estimate $400-600
Sold for $390

Attributed to Edward Everett Oakes, floral bracelet

Attributed to Edward Everett Oakes (1891-1960)
floral bracelet
Boston, Massachusetts
yellow gold, garnets, seed pearls
unmarked
7/16″w x 6 5/8″l
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Art & Design
Sale 118 Lot 414
March 10, 2019
Estimate $1,000-2,000
Sold for $1,500

The Kalo Shop, oval brooch

The Kalo Shop
oval brooch
Chicago, Illinois
sterling silver, green quartz cabochon
stamped marks
alternating tulip and scroll & ball motif
1 3/4″w x 1 3/8″h
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Art & Design
Sale 118 Lot 416
March 10, 2019
Estimate $300-500
Sold for $487

The Kalo Shop, Cherry puffy necklace

The Kalo Shop
Cherry puffy necklace
Chicago, Illinois
sterling silver
stamped marks
5/8″w x 14 3/4″l
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Art & Design
Sale 118 Lot 418
March 10, 2019
Estimate $400-600
Sold for $1,105

 

The Kalo Shop


For a detailed account of the Kalo Shop’s history, important designers and makers, and stylistic forms, read our profile under Featured Artists and Makers.

Kalo Profile
Designers and makers from The Kalo Shop, Park Ridge, Illinois, circa 1910

Designers and makers at The Kalo Shop, Park Ridge, Illinois, circa 1910

General References


These are a few books that we recommend for anyone interested in Arts and Crafts metalwork or jewelry. Each title has much to offer for beginning and advanced collectors alike. Click on any book cover to view its sale page.

Berberian, Rosalie, Creating Beauty: Jewelry and Enamels of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, Schiffer Publishing, 2019.
JUST RELEASED

Evon, Darcy L., Hand Wrought Arts & Crafts Metalwork & Jewelry: 1890-1940, Schiffer Publishing, 2013.

Chicago Metalsmiths, Sharon Darling

Darling, Sharon S., Chicago Metalsmiths, Chicago Historical Society, 1977.

Exhibitions and Catalogs


Maker & Muse

From February 14, 2015 to January 3, 2016, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago held a groundbreaking exhibition entitled, Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry, which is currently on tour at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida through May 27, 2019 and scheduled to travel extensively in the next two years. Locations include the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio, the Frick Pittsburgh, and the Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Exhibition Schedule
 

The Maker & Muse exhibition features over 250 pieces made or inspired by women in detailed, handwrought styles that often display a boldly natural aesthetic. Focusing on the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain, Art Nouveau in France, Jugendstil in Germany and Austria, Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, and American Arts and Crafts in Chicago, the items assembled from the Driehaus and other notable collections demonstrate the shared design values of each movement while showcasing the individual styles of important makers. To accompany the exhibition, jewelry historian and curator Elyse Zorn Karlin co-authored an extensively illustrated catalog with leading experts and a foreword from Richard Driehaus himself. Elyse will be delivering a Maker & Muse lecture at the Flagler Museum on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. The catalog is available for purchase online through The Monacelli Press.

Maker and Muse, Elyse Zorn Karlin

Karlin, Elyse Zorn, et al, foreword by Richard H. Driehaus, Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry, The Monacelli Press, 2015. 

Boston Made

Along with Chicago, Boston was one of the most prolific centers of American Arts and Crafts jewelry-making and metalworking in the early twentieth century. To celebrate and highlight both the makers and designs of the colorfully ornate “Boston look,” the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is currently running an exhibition entitled, Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork, which continues through March 29, 2020. This exhibition features over 75 pieces of jewelry, tableware, decorative items, and design sketches. Influential makers include Frank Gardner Hale, Edward Everett Oakes, Josephine Hartwell Shaw, and others. Among the sources for the exhibition is The Paul and Terry Somerson Collection. For background on the exhibition, MFA Publications has released a companion catalog, Arts and Crafts Jewelry in Boston: Frank Gardner Hale and His Circle, writtten by Nonie Gadsden, Meghan Melvin, and Emily Stoehrer.

Arts and Crafts Jewelry in Boston MFA

Gadsden, Nonie, et alArts and Crafts Jewelry in Boston: Frank Gardner Hale and His Circle, MFA Publications, 2018. 

Forging an American Style

The new Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement is presently under construction in St. Petersburg, Florida with the opening slated for late 2019. In conjunction with the launch of the museum, an exhibit is planned for December 2019 entitled, Forging an American Style: Jewelry and Metalwork of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which will also be curated by Elyse Zorn Karlin. The museum’s website is still in development, but updates are available through the Two Red Roses Foundation.

Museum of American Arts and Crafts, architectural rendering

Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, architectural rendering of the northeast façade