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  • Place of origin:

    USA (made)

  • Date:

    1950-1960 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Calder, Alexander, born 1898 - died 1976 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Patricia V. Goldstein

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 30, shelf B, box 7

By Alexander Calder's own account, his first jewellery was made for his sister's dolls in 1906 when he was eight, out of pieces of discarded copper wire. Later, in 1929, he made a wire choker for a French painter friend. Wire remained an important element in the sculptor's work, especially in the mobiles he invented. By twisting and hammering wire Calder achieved strong and simple forms in his jewellery. The designs have both an archaic and a modern feel.

Calder made more than 1500 pieces of jewellery, generally for friends and family rather than for sale. In 1942, he made an earring for Peggy Guggenheim, which she wore alongside one by the painter Yves Tanguy to the opening of the 'Art of the Century' gallery in New York, showing her support for both abstract and surrealist art.

Calder was a prolific sculptor and artist, who apart from his famous mobiles and sculptures also made paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestry and even designed carpets.

Physical description

Brass spiral

Place of Origin

USA (made)


1950-1960 (made)


Calder, Alexander, born 1898 - died 1976 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Artist's mark, incised on front.


Height: 6.3 cm, Width: 6.9 cm, Depth: 0.4 cm

Descriptive line

Brass spiral, designed and made by Alexander Calder, USA, 1950-60.

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

Alexander C. Rower/ Holten Rower (ed.), Calder Jewelry, Calder Foundation, New York 2007




Metalwork; Jewellery


Metalwork Collection

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