Eda Lord Dixon
- Eda Lord Dixon
- An Important Hand Mirror
- silver, cloisonné enamel, champlevé enamel, ivory and mirrored glass
- 9 1/8 in. (23.18 cm) long
4 5/8 in. (11.75 cm) diameter
Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, May 2, 1972, lot 34
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Eda was trained by two of the leading teacher artist-practitioners in their fields: the London enamels artist, Alexander Fisher, and the Chicago jeweler, James Winn. Three enamel techniques taught by Fisher are seen in the mirror: cloisonné for the lily pond roundel, translucent painting for the butterflies, and champlevé on the mirror’s frame. The embossed circular repeat of a peacock and tree bordering the pond was in the concurrent mode of British and American graphic decoration. In 1911, the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts publication, Handicraft, observed, “Mrs. Eda Ford [sic] Dixon was for three years a pupil of Alexander Fisher of London, and to her naturally, critical and sensitive taste has been added under his inspiring influence a sound technique founded on the best traditions of the craft.”
The mirror was illustrated in Palette and Bench in March 1909 and in House Beautiful in January 1915. This article also commented on a necklace by the couple: “Here the enamel is French, but Mr. and Mrs. Dixon are also working to charming purpose in the Japanese cloisonné, proving that an art once distinctive of Western Europe and later almost exclusively Chinese and Japanese, can be successfully practiced in modern America.” A year later the mirror was illustrated in Hazel H. Adler’s book, The New Interior: Modern Decorations for the Modern Home. Added recognition came in 1916 at the Artists’ Guild of Chicago’s exhibition, where the Dixons took the top price of $50.00. More importantly, the couple joined the elite eleven craftspeople to receive the Boston’s Society of Arts and Crafts highest recognition, and with it, the Medalist award.
While raising a family and maintaining orange groves in Riverside, the couple created silverware and jewelry that they exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in Chicago, Detroit, Boston and elsewhere until Eda’s death in 1926.
— W. Scott Braznell, Art Historian