Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Where do I start! This is a truly beautiful silver gilt and enamel key. The key is hand cut and cast of an exceptional gauge of silver, with perfect champleve enamelled tree of life design. Perfect enamel pink English wild roses grace the tree.
The key was probably ceremonial but it’s history, provenance and maker are unknown. The design is unequivocally British although the enamel has the feel of of one of the Austrian or German makers like George Adam Scheid. On balance I feel it is English but I cannot identify a maker. What is unequivocal, is that it is just a stunning lovely object to look at and handle.
This exact key appears on page 24 of Elyse Zorn Karlin’s book “Jewelry & Metalwork In The Arts & Crafts Tradition”, at which time it was in the collection of Tadema Gallery.
Date: 1910 (est)
Material: Silver gilt, enamel
Size: 14.5 cm long
Weight: 96 grams, 3.4 oz