Marie Zimmermann, primarily known as an Arts and Crafts metalsmith, was also an accomplished woodworker. In this box she combines exquisitely carved and painted wood, radiant gemstones, and precious ivory to produce a vessel that embodies the Arts and Crafts ideals of handcrafted construction and the harmonious integration of various media. The fan and cobra motifs on the metalwork and the interlocking carved pattern derive from Egyptian design sources that were popular in the early twentieth century. Zimmermann was particularly proud of the box, as she retained it in her collection for her entire life. It remained in the collection of her companion until it was acquired by the Museum in 2005.
Estate of Marie Zimmermann, until 1972
Ms. Ida Egli, Marie Zimmermann's caretaker and companion
The box is among thirty objects from the Estate of Marie Zimmermann and consigned by Ms. Ida Egli. Egli and Zimmermann became friends when Zimmermann would dine at Egli's restaurant, The Chalet Suisse, in New York City. Egli eventually moved in with Zimmermann to manage her household. When Zimmermann retired to Florida, Egli followed and chose approximately thirty objects to accompany them in their Florida house. When Zimmermann died in 1972, she left the objects to Egli, in whose collection they have been ever since. When Egli's family recently moved her to smaller quarters, they consigned the collection for sale.
Artist: Marie Zimmermann (American, Brooklyn, New York 1879–1972 Punta Gorda, Florida)Date: 1920–28Medium: Gold, black opal, shattuckite, green tourmalines, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and enamelAccession: 2011.10.2On view in:Gallery 706