Clemens Friedell Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Poppy Centerpiece Bowl, Pasadena, CA, c. 1920
This stunning bowl is a work of art executed by Clemens Friedell - the California Poppy is the state flower for California.
The bowl is an exquisite display of a poppy in bloom with four petals emanating from detailed stamen in the center. Fine hammering to the surface makes the bowl sparkle. An applied spreading foot is hammered and reflects on its surface the underside of the bowl.
Clemens Friedell was one of the most famous silversmiths of the California arts and crafts movement during the early 20th century. He worked as a chaser for Gorham in their Martelé line and later executed his own pieces in Pasadena, California. Clemens's shop in Pasadena's exclusive Hotel Maryland allowed him to sell to the hotel's wealthy national clientele and local Hollywood stars. (1) One can see the Martelé influences in his design and silversmithing technique.
A nearly identical bowl was owned by Mary Huggins Gamble and dates to 1916. Mary and her husband David commissioned the architects Greene & Greene to build their Pasadena house, The Gamble House, now a museum and possibly the most important Southern California arts & crafts landmark. That a similar bowl lived in such a home speaks to the importance of this piece. (2)
This rare bowl is marked underneath 'FRIEDELL/ STERLING/ PASADENA.' It measures 14.75 inches in diameter by 3.75 inches high, weighs 40.30 troy ouncesand is in excellent antique condition.
T. Wells, "Clemens Friedell: The Master of the Monogram" in Silver Magazine, Nov/Dec 2003, p. 20.
Michael Weller, "Collecting California Silver" in Silver Magazine, Nov/ Dec 2003, pp. 17-18.