Posted 7 years ago
Many years ago an online antiquing buddy introduced me to the London Bus Effect – "You never see one, then two come along at once". Well it has struck again.
A few days after Jewels1900 and BelleEpoque showed their Amy Sandheim pieces on Collectors Weekly, this turquoise necklace popped into one of my saved searches.
It's clearly by Amy, you can see the same handmade chain design on the chalcedony heart necklace from a recent Treadway Toomey Auctions sale (June 1st, 2014) and on the amethyst and rose quartz cross, courtesy of Tadema Gallery (item 6558). Also as Jewels1900 pointed out, her silver casting work is quite distinctive.
Information on Amy was a bit scarce so I put together the little bio below.
Amy Alice Sandheim was a prominent British Arts & Crafts and Art Deco jeweller in the 1920's and 30's.
She was the daughter of Amy Alice and Julius Wolfe Sandheim. Julius came from a family of watchmakers, and in 1902, at the age of just 19, he became a jewellery designer under his teacher, W. Augustus Steward, the chief instructor in gold and silversmithing at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where Steward also taught Henry George Murphy.
Julius and his brother Adolph entered the mark of Sandheim Bros gold and silver workers in 1908. By 1915 the family had a shop at 130 Notting Hill Gate in West London. Here Amy developed her personal style of Arts and Crafts jewellery using silver castings set with semi-precious stones. She had a preference for moonstones, which she often foiled after the Georgian method of foiling pastes, to produce striking and colourful effects.
Amy labelled her work as "Artistic & Peasant Jewellery" (printed inside the lid of a fitted case, 1935). This invokes the origins of Arts & Crafts jewellery, for C. R. Ashbee was named "Among pioneers of the artistic jewellery movement" by The Studio in 1902, and peasant jewellery "was very popular among the Pre-Raphaelite painters, who included it in many of their paintings" see: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O382815/necklace-unknown/
She was prominent in the second wave of inter-war Arts & Crafts and Art Deco jewellery designers, that included Sibyl Dunlop and Dorrie Nossiter, and apparently the three women were friends. Amy and Dorrie did not sign their work, which is often mis-attributed to Sibyl Dunlop, the best known of the three.
Amy sold her jewellery at Arts & Crafts exhibitions, and through the family shop, which finally closed in the early 1980s. An article on her work in The Times, dated 20 April 1931, can be seen here: www.manfamily.org/PDFs/Amy%20Sandheim%20article%20Apr%2016%201931.pdf