Gustav Manz for F. Walter Lawrence

Egyptian-Revival Gold and Ancient Glass 'Desert' Brooch | Gustav Manz 為 F. Walter Lawrence 設計 | 埃及復興風格黃金及古代玻璃 'Desert' 胸針

Auction Closed

December 7, 09:12 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 USD

Lot Details


Gustav Manz for F. Walter Lawrence | Egyptian-Revival Gold and Ancient Glass 'Desert' Brooch

Gustav Manz 為 F. Walter Lawrence 設計 | 埃及復興風格黃金及古代玻璃 'Desert' 胸針

Depicting a camel caravan approaching the pyramids at Giza, within a palm tree border against a sky formed from a fragment of ancient glass, dimensions 3 x 2½ inches, unsigned; circa 1901.

Town & Country, "Symbolism in Jewelry," by F. Walter Lawrence, December 12, 1903.
Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, 1904.

F. Walter Lawrence (1864- 1929) was an Arts & Crafts jewelry designer recognized for his imaginative creations which were highly sought-after by discriminating clientele at the turn of the 20th century. Lawrence first became an apprentice at Durand and Company, a jewelry manufacturer in 1880. Subsequently, he studied with the silver firm of Howard and Company, as well as jewelry retailer Jaques and Marcus in New York City. 

Lawrence collaborated with Gustav Manz, a classically trained German goldsmith who adapted Lawrence’s sculptural designs at the turn of the 19th century. The two worked on several jewels, including the brooch offered here. In the final decades of the 19th century and the beginning of the next, British Egyptologist Sir W.M. Flinders Petrie had undertaken expeditions of ancient sites such as Memphis and Thebes which generated a craze for ancient artifacts. American jewelers responded by designing pieces of Egyptian inspiration, and in some cases used ancient fragments such as the piece of glass in this brooch which forms the backdrop of the sky at dusk. It was likely Manz who supplied the ancient glass via the Syrian-born art dealer and importer Azeez Khayat. When lit from behind it takes on an intoxicating amber glow, capturing the magic and mystery of ancient Egypt.

This “Desert Brooch” was exhibited in 1903 at the Arts and Crafts exhibition of Art Craftsmanship at Art clubs in Syracuse and New York. That same year it was also illustrated in a 1903 Town & Country magazine article by Lawrence entitled “Symbolism in Jewelry” and was again discussed in detail by Irene Sargent in The Keystone, July 1905. The Desert Brooch was one of just 27 items exhibited by Lawrence at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair indicating the importance he assigned to the piece within his body of work.

For other examples using ancient glass, see Janet Zapata, The Jewelry and Silver of F. Walter Lawrence, The Magazine Antiques, April 2004. p. 127, and Courtney Bowers, Where Credit is Due, the Life and Jewelry of Gustav Manz, The Magazine Antiques, September/October 2010, pp.170 and 171, Figs. 6 and 9.