Marie Zimmermann
American, 1878 - 1972
Centerpiece bowl, c. 1910

H. 7 1/2 x W. 19 x D. 8 in.

Once compared to the 16th-century Italian goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, Marie Zimmermann worked equally well in silver, gold, iron, and brass. But it was with copper that she created her most naturalistic designs. This hammered bowl, like many of her pieces, is based on Chinese metalwork from the T’ang dynasty. The bowl’s elegant restraint follows the Arts and Crafts tradition, but its foliate form and tendril-like handles echo the lines and spirit of Art Nouveau. The surface has been treated with chemicals to produce a patination of great texture and coloristic variety. Although Zimmerman made a wide range of objects, from jewelry, flatware, and tea sets to furniture and architectural ornaments, her metalworks are generally considered her finest creations.