Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering an early Evald Nielsen 830 silver and amber brooch, circa 1910. This piece is a traditional Skønvirke style piece, meaning “beautiful work". It was given to Danish jewelry rendered in the Arts and Crafts style between 1900 to about 1930. Most of the Skonvirke jewelry is made in silver by hand. Nielsen's work features hammer marks. This piece is organic in style with natural flowering shapes topped by an abstract circle . The upper amber stone is mounted in a ruffled bezel setting giving an added charm to the piece and typical of the work of Evald Nielsen. It creates the impression the stone is emerging as a new bud from the flower. There is a festoon style chain attached to two flower drops and from which a flower-shaped dangle holds a larger, tear drop shaped amber stone. Both amber stones are a milky, honey golden color and have some edge chipping in the mounting. The piece is 3-5/8" long X 2" wide (including the drop) (maximum dimensions). There is a tube style closure. The piece has "EN" (Evald Nielsen maker's mark) + "830" + "8" (design number). There are minor dings and scratches on the reverse of the piece (as shown).
Evald Nielsen opened his workshop in 1900, the year after Georg Jensen started as a silversmith. He never worked for Georg Jensen, but was well known in Denmark for his craftsmanship. Evald Nielsen put his mark on the Danish Skønvirke style which paralleled the English Arts and Crafts, the Jugendstil movement in Germany, and the Wiener Werkstatte movement in Austria. Unlike Georg Jensen, Evald Nielsen based his work on his own design and only rarely used other artists and architects as designers. During the first decades of his shop, he alone designed jewelry, hollow ware and cutlery. Evald Nielsen throughout his career was known for his complete adherence to skillful craftsmanship and excellent quality. To him the fully trained craftsman was the only one who should design and create. “The professional skill and knowledge of the trade has always been essential in preserving the confidence between the goldsmith and the costumers,” he stated in January 1935 in Guldsmede-Bladet (trade paper for the Danish gold- and silversmiths).
The silver content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The silver is marked "830" indicating 830/1000 pure silver or 83%. There were no standards for silver in Denmark on jewelry made before 1930 and 830 grade silver was frequently used. After 1930, the standard for silver was set at 925 (sterling).
When you own vintage handmade jewelry, you wear a design that is unique and represents the artist's vision. It is made by a skilled craftsman and can have features which are only found in this piece. The jewelry may exhibit the marks of the craftsman. It will not be perfect. The jewelry will show age appropriate tarnish, unless we state otherwise.
Early Evald Nielsen Skonvirke Brooch c. 1910