A420

Clemens Friedell Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver and Oyster Shell Lamp, Pasadena, CA, c. 1920


In all our years of business we have never seen a sterling arts & crafts lamp by Clemens Friedell except in a photo of his shop.(1) Not only is this lamp exceedingly rare, it is exceptionally beautiful.

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.(2) One can see the Martelé influences in his design and silversmithing technique.

The surface of the lamp shimmers with the various hammering used to raise the body. Six large lobes with broad, raised borders are repousséd and chased. Between the lobes, repousséd flowers emerge.

The original shade is also a work of art. The shaped oyster shell panels create a wonderful repeating pattern of balls or balloons issuing from horns. It has stunning soft tan hues.

This remarkable lamp is marked underneath 'FRIEDELL/ STERLING/ PASADENA'. It measures 21.5 inches high by 13.5 across the width of the shade. It is in excellent condition with new wiring and 4 oyster shell panels restored.

Endnotes:

  1. Leslie Green Bowman, 'Arts & Crafts Silversmiths: Friedell and Blanchard in Southern California' in Silver in the Golden State (Oakland : Oakland Museum History Department, 1986), p.47. The visible lamp in the c. 1935-40 photo is significantly more modern in its style.
  2. T. Wells, 'Clemens Friedell: The Master of the Monogram' in Silver Magazine Nov/Dec 2003.
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