Serge Nekrassoff (Russian/American 1895-1985)
An Enamelled 'Modern Movement' Copper Bowl
Marked ‘Nekrassoff’ to the base
20.6 cm diameter x 9 cm high
The Capitol Dept. Store, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Private Collection, Oxfordshire, UK
"Science Illustrated Visits A Master Coppersmith", pages 82-87, Science Illustrated, January 1949, New York, McGraw Hill Publishing Co, 1949
The Russian-born art-metalworker Serge Nekrassoff (1895-1995) came from a landed gentry family and served as a young Captain in the Tsar's Imperial Guard during WWI. He left his homeland during the turmoil which followed the Russian Revolution, travelling first to Germany and then to Paris, where, amongst other jobs, he is thought to have first learned his skills as a metalworker and coppersmith. He went on to travel to the USA by way of Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1925 Serge Nekrassoff had set up a studio and shop on 14th Street, New York City. Initially he made arts-and-crafts style pewterware but also explored various other types of decorative metalwork (including making pieces in silver), before eventually specialising in 'modernist' enamelled copper ware. In the 1930's he moved his workshop to Darien, Connecticut and in the 50's the Nekrassoff family moved to Stuart, Florida (near to Palm Beach).
This example of Serge Nekrassoff's work, with its speckled enamel finish in a beautiful golden-yellow, white and brown colourway, is typical of pieces produced from the mid-1940's onwards. This particular bowl bears a fragmentary label for 'The Capitol Department Store' a now defunct modernist retailer in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The plain copper exterior has an attractively time-dulled, oxidised patina.
For a planished copper bowl by Serge Nekrassoff, dating to around 1948, see Minneapolis Institute of Art, 95.87.1, Gift of The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund.
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