Scandinavian Treasure

Scandinavian countries are famous for their beautifully crafted silver and enamel jewellery. Widely regarded as the world leaders in enamel, the Jewellery for Every Occasion auction features a number of iconic pieces by Scandinavian craftsmen.

Enamel is a beautiful technique that has been used in jewellery design since the 13th century BC. It is loved for the beautiful colours which brings life to pieces but also because of the difficult technique that is used to create these stunning pieces.

To create enamel, powdered glass is heated at a very high temperature which transforms it into the glassy looking enamel that we can easily recognise.

A name most recognisable for enamel work is David Andersen. In the late 1850’s he began his career working as an intern for Jacob Tostrup and by 1876, had established his own workshop in Oslo however, he is not responsible for the enamel work that we see today. After his death in 1901, his son Arthur took over the business and introduced the enamelling technique to the company’s gold and silver items of jewellery. Today, most people assume that the technique began with David himself but surprisingly, it did not.

His designs are often easily recognisable as he is famed for his iconic enamel leaf designs. These come in the form of brooches, bracelets and necklaces and the colours range from stunning sea blue to bright yellow. Lots 504 and 505 are fantastic examples of a yellow enamel leaf brooch and a bracelet.

Another similar brooch features as lot 509, this time by Arne Nordlie. Arne founded his workshop in 1943 which was taken over by his son in 1969 and is still in operation today. Lot 509 is an example of a white enamel brooch with overlaid snowdrops.

Other Scandinavian lots in this auction include lot 427, a Danish silver brooch by Eiler and Marloe depicting a fish blowing bubbles. They worked out of Copenhagen from 1920-1967 with their main competitor being Georg Jensen.


Lot 456 features an enamel flower pendant designed by Einar Modahl. Born in 1889, Einar opened his workshop in 1920. The company produces silver enamelled items and continued to craft items even after his death in 1951 before eventually ceasing production in 1987.

With the fragility of enamel, it is very important be careful when wearing, handling or storing these items of jewellery. These items have been lovingly cared for and are perfect to add to your jewellery collection for the turn of the season heading into Spring.


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Amy Cameron


McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.

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