Online exhibition Jewellery Box showcases the jewellery and jewellery sketches designed by Eric O. W. Ehrström. The artist and talented all-rounder Eric O. W. Ehrström (1881–1934) designed and produced numerous pieces of jewellery, boxes and small items during his life. In Finnish design, Ehrström represents rare, pure Art Nouveau.
In the early years of the 20th century, Ehrström designed jewellery, and from 1905 until his death in 1934 he submitted jewellery for the annual lottery prizes of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design. The artist’s jewellery may be difficult to identify, because he had no hallmarking right. A large proportion of his jewellery is therefore unsigned. If pieces of jewellery are signed, they generally bear the monogram EOWE. It is likely that many pieces of jewellery ended up as lottery prizes and that their current owners are unaware of the designer.
Ehrström designed buckles, brooches, hair jewellery, necklaces, hat pins and pendants. From the 1910s, he made bracelets, rings and earrings, as well as cufflinks for men. His output also included various small items such as ashtrays and boxes.
Ehrström used many different techniques and materials to produce jewellery. In the early pieces, the material is copper or silver, while later gold and ivory were also used. Gemstones were used in the jewellery, but Ehrström also used base materials and semi-precious stones. Enamelled jewellery and boxes were characteristic of Ehrström’s work.
The jewellery’s motifs often come from nature. Typically, they are highly distinctive floral motifs, for example seed pods, fungi, lichens and filaments, as well as insects, such as dragonflies. The themes of enamelled jewellery, boxes and plates are often lightly erotic.
The artist couple Eric and Olga Ehrström bequeathed their sketches and art works to the Fine Arts Foundation of Gösta Serlachius. Along with the bequest came a substantial number of jewellery sketches. This online exhibition has been created from these sketches as well as the Ehrström jewellery in the Fine Arts Foundation’s collection.
Museum Director Pälvi Myllylä from the Visavuori Museum Foundation and Curator Helena Hänninen from the Serlachius Museums are responsible for the content and material of the online exhibition. The exhibition material has been complied via the collection database using the Canto Cumulus Mediaportal data asset management service.
We are hoping viewers of the exhibition will contact us so that we can obtain information about the exhibition’s jewellery and sketches. Do you own a piece of jewellery or other item designed by Eric O. W. Ehrström? Please contact Serlachius Museum Gösta using the feedback form, which you’ll find in connection with the exhibition photographs.