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  • Place of origin:

    USA (made)

  • Date:

    1985 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ebendorf, Robert (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Japanese rice paper, 24-carat gold leaf, lacquer, oxidised silver, copper and ebony

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Tom Weisz

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 41, shelf B, box 1

Beads in jewellery go far back in time, long before the craft of metalworking. The very early beads often had symbolic or amuletic value, and in some instances they were used as currency. The desire for beads as personal adornment is universal to all cultures and continues through to this day in a contemporary approach.

Robert Ebendorf, an enthusiast for incorporating ‘found objects’, chose to make his beads of papier mâché from Chinese newspaper and gold foil. Ebendorf’s dyslexia forms part of the inspiration, he is more fascinated by the visual patterns words can produce, rather than their meanings.

Robert Ebendorf’s early work followed Scandinavian aesthetics, as he returned again and again to Norway where he had his first training as a metalsmith. By the mid-sixties though he began to construct his jewellery from found objects, and is renowned for his collages.

Place of Origin

USA (made)


1985 (made)


Ebendorf, Robert (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Japanese rice paper, 24-carat gold leaf, lacquer, oxidised silver, copper and ebony


Depth: 5.0 cm, Diameter: 28.5 cm

Descriptive line

Neckpiece designed and made by Robert Ebendorf in 1985

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Peter Dormer/Ralph Turner, The New Jewelry, Trends + Traditions, London 1985 (Revised edition 1994)
Barbara Cartlidge, Twentieth Century Jewelry, New York 1985
Ettagale Blauer, Contemporary American Jewelry Design, New York 1991
Helen W. Drutt English / Peter Dormer, Jewelry of Our Time, London 1995
Susan Grant Lewin, American Art Jewelry of Today, London 1994
Fritz Falk / Cornelie Holzach, Schmuck der Moderne, Modern Jewellery 1960-1998, Stuttgart 1999
Ornament as Art, Avant-garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Stuttgart 2007


Rice paper; Gold leaf; Lacquer; Silver; Copper; Ebony


Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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