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Henry Petzal Modern Sterling Silver Covered Dish with Carnelian Handle, Lenox, MA, 1975

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This magnificent covered bowl has a raised, shaped body with a smooth, reflective surface. The interior and exterior of the domed cover are covered in gilding which adds beautiful contrast and color. Affixed to the raised, finial handle is a stunning large carnelian. This wonderful, semi-precious stone exhibits a rich reddish-brown color.


Silver by Henry Petzal is quite rare as all the pieces are hand raised, and each design is limited in number to a maximum of eight. This particular covered bowl is numbered '1' meaning it was the first example of this design he created out of a maximum of 8 in this design that was made.


Henry Petzal was a businessman who 'rose through the ranks to become a textile executive. In 1963, age fifty-seven... he resigned and committed his life to a new career (silversmith)'. (1) Petzal studied at the Craft Students League in New York City under the instruction of silversmiths Rudi Schumacher and William Seitz. (2)


Fifteen examples of Petzal's work are represented in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 'In 1979, the Museum exhibited my work in a case right across the aisle from the Paul Revere bowl... At the opening reception Jonathan Fairbanks (Curator of American Decorative Arts) called these pieces "a major acquisition for the Museum". (3)


For other examples of Henry Petzal's work in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, see here.


This rare and stunning covered bowl is marked underneath with Henry Petzal's 'HP' trademark and 'HENRY PETZAL/ STERLING/ HANDWROUGHT' and a circle containing the year '1975' over a '1'. It measures 6 inches in diameter by 4.75 inches high, weighs 23.30 troy ounces, and is in excellent condition. The cover alone weighs 9.65 troy ounces.


Provenance: Henry Petzal by descent in the family.


  1. Robert M. Doty, Henry Petzal/ Silversmith, (Manchester: The Currier Gallery of Art, 1987), p. 4.
  2. Ibid, p. 7.
  3. Ibid, p. 12.