JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Item must be marked "Sterling" or "925"
PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
clandestinex
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:13 pm

JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby clandestinex » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:00 pm

Trying to identify this very particular hallmark on a Picture or Card Case. It has a detailed stamped Flower motif with an applied Dragonfly. Looks to be Arts & Crafts-style but could possibly be Native American. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Image
Image

Aguest
contributor
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 am

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby Aguest » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:04 pm

It does seem like "JM Conjoined" to my eyesight : The "robins-egg-blue" turquoise cabochons seem to be "Persian Turquoise" which was mined from Persia and the material was becoming scarce after the 1920's and based on the overall design and construction it does seem to be from the USA circa 1920's ::: This type of "naturalistic" subject matter was extremely popular in the 1880's as a part of the general "Aesthetic Movement," however, even though it was not seen as often during 1910-1930, there are still examples of naturalistic themes present in sterling silver constructed during this time, just not seen as often as the 1880's :::: Hopefully someone knows the maker because it seems as if this silversmith possessed a high level of skill to execute this design :::

Aguest
contributor
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 am

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby Aguest » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:50 am

Has anyone seen the work of "Johannes Morton" who was a highly skilled silversmith who founded the "Elverhoj Colony" along with A.H. Anderson (both described as "painters and silversmiths") in 1913 at a place called "Milton-on-the-Hudson" in New York State and took for its motto "Live close to nature for inspiration." Housed in an old colonial mansion on 150 acres, in 1916 the colony was reported to have eight permanent members, male and female, and a good crop of summer students for its painting, etching, gold and silversmithing, other metalwork, weaving, and bookbinding courses....?

This does fit within the general time-frame, the "Arts & Crafts" style of the piece, and the very heavy, almost reverential, emphasis on nature as depicted by the sunflowers and leaves and dragonfly ::: Also I can't help but be impressed with the overall "composition" of the flowers and leaves and dragonfly, each with different sizes and perspectives, as if whoever designed it knew how to compose a painting :::: The "composition" of the scene is extremely well planned and executed, as if someone trained as a fine-art painter could have composed this scene, at least in my opinion :::::

Not much is known about Johannes Morton, and although I have found a few examples with the "ELVERHOJ" signature, I find nothing attributed to the individual Johannes Morton :

Aguest
contributor
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 am

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby Aguest » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:06 am

"Instruction was offered in painting, etching, jewelry, weaving, metalwork, and bookbinding…. The main product of the Elverhöj Colony seems to have been jewelry, made of gold and silver with semi-precious stones. Conventionalized flower forms provided the motifs, which combined the fineness of…craftsmanship…with designs found in American flora.”

(description of Elverhoj jewelry fits with the design of the case, made of silver with semi-precious stones, emphasis on floral forms, fine craftsmanship)

dragonflywink
co-admin
Posts: 2314
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:42 am
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby dragonflywink » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am

I've seen this design before on different pieces, and should remember the mark, which I believe is, as suggested, a conjoined 'JM', but my memory is not what it was. Do not believe it is has much age, and not Arts & Crafts or NA - will go ahead and move it to 'Sterling after 1860' forum for more views...

~Cheryl

Aguest
contributor
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 am

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby Aguest » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:56 pm

I did initially think that the turquoise cabochons were just too identical in color and that they could be synthetic, so if the turquoise cabochons are synthetic, that would point more towards the 1970s as a date of construction, is that more in line with the other pieces you have seen by this maker? ::

dragonflywink
co-admin
Posts: 2314
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:42 am
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby dragonflywink » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:03 pm

The turquoise eyes are not bezel-set, just glued in, believe they are most likely glass - not sure what would indicate 1970s dating, but suspect these pieces are not even that early, personally doubt they're any more than 20-30 years old. A quick internet search finds a frame by the same maker, no image of the mark shown, but described as 'JM'...

Image

Image

~Cheryl

Aguest
contributor
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 am

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby Aguest » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:47 pm

Synthetic Turquoise, of "Block Turquoise," became widely used in the 1970s in response to the explosion in popularity of Native American jewelry, also the manufacturing methods of synthetic "block" turquoise allowed the price of the synthetic material to become lower and lower in overall cost to produce and purchase ::

I thought the eyes were described as turquoise, not glass, but there is a material called "Hubbell Glass" from Czechoslovakia which was traded to the Navajo since circa 1900, also called "Hubbell Beads," and these were used to simulate turquoise or maybe just because the silversmith preferred this material over natural turquoise :::

dragonflywink
co-admin
Posts: 2314
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:42 am
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby dragonflywink » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:46 pm

Personally, just can't see these pieces as any kind of Native American production at all, so also not seeing the significance of what materials were or are NA used. While the eyes look more like glass to me, it's really pretty difficult to determine from a photograph whether tiny little cabochons are stone, glass or even resin or plastic - in addition to natural stone, all sorts of turquoise color cabochons, in all sorts of materials from various sources, have been readily available for a very long time and still are.

Frustrated that the mark is still just lurking in the back of my brain - hopefully someone will come along and ID it...

~Cheryl

Aguest
contributor
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 am

Re: JM or Stylized M Sterling Card? Picture Case w/ Dragonfly & Flower Details

Postby Aguest » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:37 pm

Getting back on track, and now that we see a card case and a picture frame, maybe it was an accessory line commissioned by an upscale department store? ::: As long as these pictures remain in this thread (pics have been known to disappear from time to time, sadly) perhaps other pieces will be located and the chances of the designer being identified will increase ::


Return to “Sterling Manufacturers ~ American after-1860”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests