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Designer Spotlight: Fine Silver by David Andersen

David Andersen opened his eponymous shop in Christiania (now Oslo) Norway in 1876. As a designer and retailer specializing in jewelry and silver wares, Andersen’s business model closely mirrors that of Danish silversmith Georg Jensen, who was twenty-three years his junior. Jensen opened his shop in 1904. Upon Andersen’s death in 1901, his sons took over company operations and designs. Today, David-Andersen (the company’s name since the early 20th century) is practically synonymous with mid-century enameled silver jewelry.

Enameled and Amethyst-mounted Sterling Coffee Service, David Andersen (Sold for $7,110)

While embracing contemporary design aesthetics, David-Andersen silver drew on a long tradition of enamel work, both at the company and in Scandinavia. Today’s collectors covet pieces in the Art Nouveau and Dragestil styles that date from the first fifty years of the company’s production. The incorporation of virtuosic techniques, such as plique-a-jour enameling, or expensive materials, like semi-precious hardstones, only add to a piece’s appeal. The silver ewer and coffee service depicted here both typify early work in the Art Nouveau style. Polychrome enamel and semi-precious stones are effortlessly incorporated into the naturalistic designs.

The October 5, 2013 European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction features Fine Silver, including these two Andersen salts that are typical of the company’s early production. One features a raised amethyst-colored basse-taille enameled bowl framed by pierced green plique-a-jour enameled leaves. The other is decorated with traditional floral cloisonné enameling and rests on lion-form feet. Although these silver salts are modest pieces compared with the hollowware mentioned above, they remain strong examples of the high quality design and execution found in the early work of the David-Andersen company.

Consider Reading : A Guide to Gorham Silver Patterns

David Andersen Art Nouveau Sterling, Enamel, and Carnelian-mounted Ewer, c. 1876-88 (Sold for $5,332.50)

Suite of Gilt Sterling Silver and Enamel Jewelry, David-Andersen (Sold for $888.75)

Two David-Andersen Enameled Sterling Silver Salts (Lot 123, Estimate $200-$250)


4 thoughts on “Designer Spotlight: Fine Silver by David Andersen

  1. I recently purchased a David Anderson Autumn brooch and wonder why the silver is gold coloured. It weighs heavy in my hand and is identical to the ones for sale on the web site. I hope you can help me. thank you

  2. Dear Pamela,

    Thank you for your comment! It sounds like your brooch is gold-washed, which is not unusual for Andersen pieces (particularly his jewelry). I would be happy to take a look and give you my thoughts.

    Kind regards,

  3. I recently acquired some silver pieces. One was a box, labeled David-Andersen,with ear cuffs and choker and upon further inspection of miscellaneous items, I found a David-Andersen Whale Tail. I am hesitant to clean them up although I think they could sure use it. Currently trying to figure out exactly what and of what value these pieces have now. Would you suggest cleaning them prior to selling?

  4. Hi Deborah,

    Thank you for your comment on this post! I always recommend the ‘less is more’ approach to polishing anything since if done incorrectly you can actually do more harm that good. Please send along images and information on your pieces to silver@skinnerinc.com

    I look forward to reviewing them!

    Kind regards,

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