Rebecca Cauman ( American, 1887 - 1964 )

c. 1925
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General Description

The precise circular geometry of this diminutive box represents a dramatic aesthetic shift for American design in the 1920s and a bold departure for its maker, metalsmith Rebecca Cauman. A glass disk rises vertically within a pewter ring flanked by two smaller pewter disks, all resting upon a gently domed lid sectioned into eight parts by incised lines radiating from its center. The short circular drum of the body is supported on four small spherical feet echoing the circular motif of the lid. Although best known for her earlier enameled copper wares in the Arts and Crafts mode, this box design represents Cauman's earliest and most aggressive foray into the reductive geometry of 1920s design.

Drawn from

  • Kevin W. Tucker, DMA unpublished material, 2006

  • Janet Kardon, Craft in the Machine Age: The History of Twentieth-Century American Craft, 1920-1945 (New York: Abrams, 1995)