Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
For sale is this remarkable, massive, Norwegian silver Dragestil (dragon style) Viking revival bowl. Norwegian Dragestil was popularised as part of Norway’s own arts and crafts or national folk revival akin to that in the UK or Skonvirke in Denmark. The revival was at its peak c. 1900-1920.
The bowl is set on three curving handle feet. A decorative frieze on the bowl is designed of repeating birds and masked moustached god or man. The frieze is set with six turquoise stones and three greens tones, probably jadeite, held in the mouths of the gods. What the frieze depicts so far escapes me. Typically a depiction like this would be of the Norse god of war Odin, with ravens. However, the birds do not look especially raven like to me and I think the bowl may depict the God Njord, who is often portrayed with seabirds. Njord is the the Norse god of wind and waters, and the patron of sailors and fishermen; he also brought wealth to the just and deserving.
This bowl is not marked. The silver has been tested at the London assay office as 830 parts per 1000, making it certain it is Norwegian – their standard silver grade. In my experience this is probably an Exhibition piece, probably unmarked due to time constraints ahead of the Exhibition. It is museum standard and of exceptional gauge and quality.
There are a number of candidates for maker, but most likely this bowl is made by Henrik Moeller of Trondheim, who is renowned for his exceptional Dragestil work
Date: c. 1910
Material: Solid silver (830), turquoise, probably jadeite
Size: 14 cm high, 32 cm max diameter, 27 cm bowl diameter across rim
Weight: 68.0 oz, 1,928 grams