impressed MARIE ZIMMERMAN MAKER/77
The distinctive, brilliant red coloration on the present model 77 vessel is a rare example of Zimmermann's innovative experiments with vibrant patinas, including some of her most famous works in Persian blue, verdigris green and Chinese red. This vase's color, which critic Mary Fanton Roberts called "flaming scarlet," might have been inspired by the antique Chinese red lacquer surfaces Zimmermann observed in the Asian collections of New York museums. ("An American Worker in the Crafts," House & Garden, February 1922, p. 28). This color, created with different techniques, played an important role in French Art Deco, for example in the work of Eileen Gray, Jean Dunand and others.
Another possible source is the red metal patinas of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Frank Lloyd Wright adopted "Cherokee red" as his signature color in metalwork around 1902, and continued to use it throughout his career. Sometime after 1910, San Francisco metalworker Dirk van Erp developed a vivid fiery patina, "which is primarily red, but yellow and dark browns often mingle with the finish," as seen in this large and well-preserved example of his work offered in the following lot. (Dorothy Lamoureux, Arts and Crafts Studio of Dirk Van Erp, San Francisco, 1989, p. 21).
Recent research has revealed chemical finishes found in the Marie Zimmermann archives including Weber Company Oil Copal Varnish (Extra Pale, Barniz Copal, Puro) and Weber Company Copal Varnish (Best Picture, Barniz Copal), which were the substances most likely used in her creation of patinated metal surfaces. Specifically, oil copal varnish containing brilliant powdered pigment likely coats the more complexly textured examples of her metalwork featuring brilliant hues of applied red, green and blue.
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