Of all the arts and crafts, none has developed to such an extent and acquired such importance in our country as the art of jewellery making.
Henrik Grosch, review of the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris
Jewellery making occupies a particularly important place in the history of fine craft and Art Nouveau in Norway. The Norwegian jewellery community at the turn of the 20th century was large and outward-looking. Japanese art and enamel works, featuring insect motifs and local flora, and European Art Nouveau were obvious sources of inspiration. During the most productive part of the Art Nouveau period, Norwegian jewellery was considered among the finest in Europe, especially in the enamel field. Gustav Gaudernack’s dragonfly bowl from 1908 is a key work.
Elsewhere in Europe, floral motifs and soft lines also dominated jewellery design. Artists were now trying to produce more abstract depictions of nature, such as stalks swaying in the wind or morning dew on a leaf.
The little butterfly brooch, signed Marius Hammer, is typical of its time with its soft lines, pastel and translucent colours, and flat form. The butterfly motif alludes to an ever-changing world in perpetual motion. (KK-J.00234)
Bud vase by David Andersen Gullsmed, Kristiania, c. 1900. Plique-à-jour enamel. (KK-J.00241)