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Harry BERTOIA (1915-1978)

Silver Gong Necklace, c. 1970-1976

Unique hand-hammered silver  necklace with a large central gong pendant and with flattened oval-shaped links joined by single rivets with bulbous ends.

Marks: unsigned, but accompanied by a certificate by Celia Bertoia, dated 3rd April, 2015

Dimensions: L. 48 cm; H. pendant 14 cm

Provenance: Mr Clarence Haack, Venture, California

Exhibited: Bent, Cast and Forged. The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia, Museum of Art and Design, New York 2016

Literature: Martine Newby Haspeslagh, Jewelry by Contemporary Painters and Sculptors @ 50: 1967-2017, Didier Ltd, London 2017, pp. 26-7, no. 11

It was through Clarence Haack's company, the International Metals Corporation and Halaco Engineering of Ventura, CA, that Bertoia devised specific metal alloys for his sculptures. Bertoia often visited Haack at his Ventura office. Indeed, there is a drawing of this necklace sketched by Bertoia on the back of one of the company ledgers. It is unclear as to whether this was a design for a new commission or an existing piece as Bertoia would sometimes barter with or gift Mr Haack pieces of sculpture or jewellery. This necklace is one of Bertoia's last jewels, dating to an experimental period when Bertoia was working with Kaare Bentsen of Norway to produce a line of jewellery that was never realised due to Bertoia's untimely death.

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