Eda Lord Dixon American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 706

This bracelet exemplifies the innovative designs and skillful craftsmanship of Eda Lord Dixon, an important and influential American Arts & Crafts enamellist, silversmith, and jeweler who is little-known today because she rarely marked her work. After Dixon trained with the Chicago jeweler James Winn and the renowned British enamellist Alexander Fisher, she achieved national recognition by showing and selling her work through Arts and Crafts exhibitions and societies throughout America, including Boston, Detroit, Chicago, and San Diego. Subsequent to her return from her studies with Fisher in 1908, Dixon continued to draw upon her knowledge of historic jewelry and objects derived from visits to London museums. The bracelet references sketches she made while in London. She first encountered filigree jewelry at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A), where she sketched a detail of a nineteenth-century silver filigree necklace of eleven rosettes connected by chains made in Cuttack, India. Multiple strands of seed pearls also were common elements in Indian jewelry Dixon saw and studied. Although Dixon’s bracelet is based on historic precedent, she has created an original and inventive design. It descended in her family to her granddaughter, who is the donor. Dixon’s sketch books, ledgers, design books, and photograph albums have been digitized courtesy of Shelly and James Dixon and are available through Watson Library’s digital collections. (See particularly Sketchbook: London, June 1906, p. 37)

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