Cup and saucer

ARTIST / MAKER: Marius Hammer (maker)
DATE: ca.1900 (made)
PLACE: Norway (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver-gilt and plique-à-jour enamel

This cup and matching saucer were made using plique-à-jour, a technique that is similar to cloisonné enamel work whereby coloured enamels are fused into the spaces of a wire framework. Due the difficulty of this technique, plique-à-jour has a high failure rate but when successful, it produces a translucent effect similar to stained glass. The technique was popular in France in the 1860s and in Norway at the turn of the 20th century. This cup and saucer were made by Marius Lauritz Hammer, a third generation goldsmith who had one of the largest jewellery shops in Bergen, Norway, in the early 1900s. However, the success of the company declined rapidly after World War I and it had ceased production by 1930.