For sale here is a very rare vintage 1950s one of a kind handmade pewter and carnelian modernist box by American artist/enamelist Hilda Kraus. At top is inset a carnelian square-shaped slab, and at the sides are four carved carnelian intaglios of ancient warriors. I'm guessing that this box was originally intended for a man, although these days there seems to be less distinction between the sexes for many of these objects. No doubt one of a kind as were all of her boxes, and unique as most of her boxes had enamel with the pewter while this one has carnelian stone. Hilda Kraus was a renaissance-woman, and worked in a lot of different materials over the course of her career. She is particularly well known for her handmade pewter boxes, most with inset enamel on gold overlaid on silver sections, and I have listed here on Ruby Lane a pendant in pewter with one of these gold over silver enameled sections, as well as a wonderful modernist enamel in sterling silver brooch by her. I have seen roughly a dozen or so boxes by Kraus over the years, and all of the others had enamel decoration. This is the first and only box by her that I have ever seen with inset carnelian and carved carnelian intaglios. To find other items by her in my store please search by the Artist name in my shop. Here's a short bio of the artist that I found online...

Hilda Kraus, a well-known designer, artist, jeweler, enamelist and metalsmith, was born in New York City in 1915. She had a B.A. from Hunter College in 1935 and completed her post graduate studies at International Academy of Art, Salzburg, Austria, in 1967, 72, 77. Ms. Kraus served as an apprentice to a Danish silversmith for 3 years. and studied traditional enameling methods in the great centers of Europe (France, Italy, Germany). She at one time had shops in N.Y.C, Connecticut and Maine. When she moved to Westport in the 1950’s she maintained her studio in her home. Hilda spent many hours teaching and taking classes at the Brookfield Craft Center, as well as being a part of both solo and joint exhibitions there. Hilda was a lifetime member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists and a Master Craftsman as awarded by the Society for Connecticut Craftsman. During her lifetime, Hilda was the recipient of many awards and prizes for her work both here and in Europe, especially for her work in cloisonné enamels. Her work is in the collections of the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; and the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington.
In 1946, her work was featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art called Modern Handmade Jewelry, one of the earliest and most influential jewelry exhibitions in the postwar period. She was also awarded a purchase prize in the seminal exhibition Enamels ’70 organized by the Craft Alliance of St. Louis.
Understanding the vision and importance of the Brookfield Craft Center as an institution of fine craft and catalyst for creativity, Ms. Kraus left a legacy gift to the BCC upon her death in 2014. Through the generosity of her long-time friend and Brookfield Craft Center supporter, Nell Mullen, a retrospective exhibition of her life’s work was featured in the Lynn Tendler Bignell gallery at the Craft Center in April of 2017.

The box is in two pieces, the lid and the base. The lid lifts off and reveals that both pieces are lined inside in a golden velvet material. The box measures 4-1/4" long by 4-1/4" wide by 3" tall, and weighs a total of 441 grams. Hand engraved by the artist at bottom as shown, "Hilda Kraus Pewter". Pewter is a soft metal, so there are lots of fine light scratches to the metal and some tarnish in spots that can be easily removed with a jar of store-bought pewter polish, or you may choose to have the box professionally polished - please view the photos, read the description, and ask all questions prior to purchase. I am open to reasonable offers from serious buyers.

United States • American

California Dreamin' Art Jewelry Etc

RARE One of a Kind 1950s Hilda Kraus Handmade Pewter & Carnelian Modernist BOX

$748 SALE
$1,495  50% Off 
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