Clemens Friedell Silver & Jade Box

Value (2003) | $4,000 Auction$5,000 Auction

Well, it was my grandmother's, and when I was young she had it on the coffee table in her living room; I remember it growing up. I loved the little figures on the corners. And then when she passed away, it went to my father, and my father gave it to me.

So, tell me about this invoice. Now, is this to your original...

My grandmother. And she knew Clemens Friedell; he made her this box. And I also have some salt and pepper shakers he made for her and jewelry-- a bracelet and rings. She loved his stuff.

As you may know, he was based in Pasadena, California. He was born in 1892. He started working in Pasadena in around 1910. He was working on up until his death in the middle of the 20th century. This box was probably made around 1940s or so. Stylistically, it could have been made as early as the '20s. It's hard to date it precisely because there's no dating clues... other than style. And Clemens Friedell was the epitome of the Arts and Crafts movement-- the "back to hand-crafted material"-- and this box is museum quality. His stuff comes up from time to time at auction, but nothing quite as special as this. This box is signed on the bottom: "Friedell, Pasadena." It even has his signature, "Clemens Friedell, maker," etched on the bottom. And the detail is just extraordinary. You have the nudes holding up the jade balls. You have floral swags... the hammered surface. The lid has a carved oval plaque of jade with more flowers. Just something a museum would love to have. Inside is, of course, the cushioned, velvet-lined interior-- it was a jewelry box. The receipt is especially interesting, because you have his original invoice. You see that he was established in Pasadena in 1910. And the actual sale date was November 19, 1946, and it sold for $350. Um... "Paid in full." And it has some extra writing on it.

My grandmother signed it that it was to go to my father upon... upon her death.

Interesting. Well, it was $350 back in 1946. How much do you think it would go for today?

I have no... I haven't a clue.

Well, I think something like this could easily fetch about $4,000 to $5,000 at auction today.

Wow, great.

It's a wonderful piece, and thank you so much for bringing it.

Super. Thank you!

Appraisal Details

LeBaron Antiques Trading
Woodbury, CT
Appraised value (2003)
$4,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2003)
Jade, Silver

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