Georg Jensen USA Large Sterling Silver Bowl, by William DeMatteo (attr.) c. 1942-49
This stunning centerpiece bowl is beautifully designed and of very high quality. The bowl with it's flaring rim is beautifully hammered on interior and exterior surfaces and exhibits a wonderful sparkle and reflective surface. It is attached to the circular stepped, pedestal base with six organic blossoms and bold ball decoration.
The history of the USA branch of Georg Jensen is quite interesting. Due to an economic crisis in Europe in the 1920's, one of Jensen's chief designers, Frederik Lunning , was sent to New York to establish a store and market for Jensen's wares, eventually locating on Fifth Avenue. Jensen's exported silver to the US was quite successful, however due to the war the export to the US ceased. Lunning hired American silversmiths to augment the silver sales from 1942-49.(1)
Although technically working across the river in New Jersey, William G. DeMatteo is considered (along with Peer Smed) to have been New York's finest mid-century silversmith. His hand wrought silver is always of fine quality. Another of his great achievements was training his son, William L DeMatteo, as a silversmith. William L. deMatteo became the first master silversmith at Colonial Williamsburg. Click here to see a sauce boat in the same design.
This lovely arts & crafts bowl is marked underneath 'Georg Jensen, Inc./ U.S.A./ STERLING/ HAND HAMMERED/ 231'. It measures 10 inches round at the top by 6 inches high, weighs 29.55 troy ounces and is in excellent condition.
Ginger Moro, "Behind the Scenes at Georg Jensen USA: The War Years" in Silver Magazine, Nov/Dec 1996, pp. 28-33.