An antique set of American Arts & Crafts oyster spoons in hand-wrought silver by Marie Zimmermann (1879-1972), a noted metalsmith, jeweler and designer at work in New York City during the opening decades of the 20th century. The pieces date circa 1915, during the period Zimmermann maintained a workshop studio and showroom at the National Arts Club at Gramercy Park and the set comes directly from the artist's estate.
Each skillfully crafted solid silver spoon is in very good condition with spot hammered surfaces and applied silver handles. The pieces are a substantial combined weight of 6.6. oz / 186 g. The largest spoon measures 4.63 in. L and is marked with Zimmermann's MZ artist's cipher on the back of the handle. The medium sized spoons measure 3.25 in. L while the smallest pair measure 2.5 in. L. Each piece tests as solid silver.
Zimmermann's creative designs for jewelry, funerary monuments, and ornamental decor accessories for home and garden were eclectic, often experimental, and informed by her life-long interests in the historical design and the natural world. Period journalists referred to her as "master of a dozen crafts perhaps the most versatile artist in this country" and "the last of the great metal craftsmen the modern Benvenuto Cellini." Her designs were exhibited widely throughout her career and today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City holds the largest collection of her objects, acquiring the first example of her work in 1922. Examples of her creations in jewelry and metalwork are also in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, and the Columbus Museum of Art.
For additional information, please see The Jewelry and Metalwork of Marie Zimmermann, American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation and Yale University Press, 2012.