SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!
20th/21st Century Silversmiths Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  20th/21st Century Silversmiths
tline3open  Who was Gunnar Andersen?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Who was Gunnar Andersen?
Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-19-2005 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Hello all,

Here are pictures of two different flatware patterns by the little-known A&C silversmith Gunnar Andersen. I have been told that he was of Norwegian descent, possibly a Norwegian Immigrant, worked in Wisconsin, and died around 1950. The pattern of the fish knife is called KAREN, and was apparently purchased from the Andersen estate in 1950 by Old Newbury Crafters, who still produce it. I do not know the name of the other pattern, but the handle end is cast and joined to the stem. It does have a Norwegian look to it.

Can anyone fill in any gaps in this story? Does ONC have any more information about Andersen, Middletom? Juding from the quality of these pieces, escpecially the knife, Anderesn was an accomplished silversmith!

Brent

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-19-2005 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andersen can also be a Danish name. As a place, Wisconsin is pretty large. So having a town or locale would make a difference. The work is excellent as you point out Brent.

Did he work as a lone smith or part of a shop? And did he produce large quantities or only to order? It seems we have another unknown, or at least unrecorded, Scandinavian silversmith here.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-19-2005 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've posted this before, but maybe I should do so again. For Scandinavians coming to the US in the 19th century, the usual place of entry was Chicago. Emigrants would go there first, work for a while and then move on into the Midwest and Northwest. Scandinavia seems to have produced a lot of smiths who went out. The Swedish word for emigrants is 'utvandrarna', literally 'out wanderers' or 'those who wander out'.

My first guess would be that Gunnar may have spent some time in Chicago. So I would see if he appears in any of the lists of working silversmiths. Which would mean checking into the fraternal groups, like Sons of Norway, also.

From there it may be possible to find him in a state historical society study. Beyond that, I really don't know.

There were craftsmen trained in Scandinavia who produced custom items for their local communities. When I was a child, I can remember a dressmaker trained in Stockholm. And a few cabinet makers trained in Sweden who make distinctively Swedish things for fellow immigrants.

Gunnar may have been one of these. An old snus guy in some little town who once in a while made a custom silver service that recalled the old country.

Searching by the name Andersen is going to be maddening.

[This message has been edited by Dale (edited 03-19-2005).]

IP: Logged

sazikov2000

Posts: 254
Registered: Jan 2005

iconnumber posted 03-19-2005 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sazikov2000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There existed a certain painter and sculptorAagaard Andersen , Gunnar 1919 - 1982, MoMA in New York exhibits some of his works.
Just a guess!

Sazikov2000

IP: Logged

middletom

Posts: 467
Registered: May 2004

iconnumber posted 03-22-2005 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for middletom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pleased to see some of Anderson's original pieces. At ONC we've occasionally had originals sent to us for repair or for a very precise match. We didn't purchase the pattern as far back as 1950. That was about the time that Reynolds Senior bought the company from Everett MacBurnie who was the son of Albert MacBurnie, co-founder of ONC with Reynolds' father, Elmer. In 1955, Swift Barnes bought the company from Reynolds and expanded the line and work force. Swift bought the Karen pattern some time after that. I believe there is information at the company about when the various patterns were introduced, so I'll check on it tomorrow and update you about that.
Lately(the past ten or fifteen years), Karen has been a slow seller, though it once was quite popular. I think many people feel the style is dated whereas the colonial styles are rather more timeless.

IP: Logged

Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-25-2005 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your input! I was hoping that ONC might have some records that would shed some light on Mr. Andersen, at least where he was located. We now know that the pattern didn't come to ONC until after 1950, so that is something.

I recall what you said before about Scandianvian silversmiths in the upper Midwest, Dale. The whole area seems ripe for research; I'm sure there were plenty of small craftsmen in the area, and Gunnar probably fits in there somewhere. He must have had a decent business, though, as there was a large dinner service in the KAREN pattern up for sale not long ago.

I wonder why Karen has fallen out of favor. It looks a lot like Jensen's Continental, but more handsome to my eyes. I would imagine that ONC flatware is more affordable than new Jensen, with at least as good quality. Perhaps people don't think of ONC as a source for modern designs?

Anyway, thanks again!

Brent

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-25-2005 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps middletom will have some more information on Andersen. It would be helpful to know where he worked. From that we might be able to figure out something about his life and work. And maybe come up with someone who took over his shop. I find it difficult to believe that someone who could produce silver of this quality simply let the business close when he died. There should have been someone to carry on.

One other comment. It seems to me that some of what we call 'modern' is actually traditional Scandinavian design. It just looks modern because a great deal of modern comes from Scandinavia. Looking at IKEA, that thought came to me. Both modern and traditional. Just a thought.

IP: Logged

middletom

Posts: 467
Registered: May 2004

iconnumber posted 03-26-2005 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for middletom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Something further on Anderson. I called up Swift Barnes yesterday and spoke to him about the matter. He said that Anderson used to make the Karen pattern for Georg Jensen, apparently for their N.Y. store. Though mr. Anderson passed away in 1950, it wasn't until 1964 that Jensen asked ONC to purchase the pattern from Anderson's widow and to resume production for Jensen. When I came to ONC in 1971, I don't believe we were making it for Jensen anymore, but had added it to our own line. So there was a 14 year gap when it wasn't produced. Mr. Barnes said that he recalled that Anderson was out in the Chicago area, but his listing of the patterns which came to be at ONC during his ownership list Anderson as being from Norway. Anderson is also listed as K. Anderson on that list, but Swift is no longer sure whether that K is Mrs. Anderson's initial or what it's origin is.

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1621
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 08-06-2011 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This piece of information may not be worth anything, but I thought I would mention it anyway just because of the progress so far in idenitfying G Andersen. From a 1942 draft registration, there was a Gustav Engolf Andersen at Cellini Shop in Chicago. He was born in Bergen, Norway in 1883. No occupation is given, so I have no idea what he did there. He may have been a shipping clerk.

IP: Logged

middletom

Posts: 467
Registered: May 2004

iconnumber posted 08-15-2011 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for middletom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A bit more on this thread. About three years ago I took a call at work from a young woman who is Gunnar Anderson's great-grand daughter. She told me that some members of the family have Karen pieces by Anderson, but they were hoping to find some pattern of silver that would go with those Karen pieces. In searching for such silver, this young woman had run across our web site, and low and behold, there was Karen still being produced. She told me that their great-grand mother didn't tell anyone in the family that she had sold the pattern to us, so that pleased her to see it still in existence.

middletom

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 09-03-2018 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great thread! I found this spoon yesterday and thought this was a great place to show it off!


IP: Logged

June Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 1162
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-03-2018 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's beautiful!

IP: Logged

agleopar

Posts: 824
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 09-03-2018 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a nicely forged and finished spoon, handsome!

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 09-03-2018 10:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you!

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2019 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices