Antique 1900 Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Lady Face Handle Table Vanity – In a fairly large size this is a lovely original antique Art Nouveau Sterling Silver estate piece for vanity hairbrush or clothes brush or formal dining crumber or whatever ladies accessory you like. It measures 4″ tall north to south from top of handle straight down to the bottom by 2.62″ across east to west, side edge to side edge by 5/8″ deep front to back. It was never monogrammed or inscribed. Other than one small finger dent on each side it is in very good condition. The lady is on BOTH front and back and beautifully detailed with noticeable flowing hair, carved eyes, narrow face and medium patrician nose. The entire handle is repoussed with draping scrolls and flowers that surround the face and handle top. This is a gorgeous antique sterling handle to repurpose for your antique estate silver collection.
Women’s roles and status in society developed significantly during the late 19th century (as we explored in our 2016 exhibition Faces of Europe). Women became more independent and a growing number of metropolitan middle-class women enjoyed a disposable income. During the same period, (predominantly male) Art Nouveau artists and designers depicted women in highly idealised, feminine and seductive forms. Slender, attractive – and often naked – women with flowing hair featured heavily in Art Nouveau jewellery, paintings and printed works.