Mary Gage Arts & Crafts Movement Sterling Silver Pansy Flower Brooch
Silversmith Mary Gage was a fascinating character whose jewelry career spanned from the 1920s to her death in the '90s. In addition to metalsmithing, the eccentric Gage at various points in her life also made a living as a poodle breeder, medical technician and antiques dealer. Gage's silver work earned her a prominent place among Arts and Crafts movement jewelry makers. This brooch is a pansy-like flower, one of the nature-inspired motifs for which the artist is best known. This piece was crafted using the metalsmithing technique of chasing and repoussé, where the front and reverse sides of the metal were alternately hammered in pitch. The result is a design with dimension. More detail is hand tooled into the surface toward the petals' center.
This piece is hallmarked Mary Gage and Sterling. It measures 2 1/2" by 2 1/2". In excellent condition. There is some surface scratching that is a result of her metalsmithing techniques. There is a rawness to her work; she did not produce perfectly exacting polished pieces.