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Bronze Lion Ashtray, Marie Zimmermann (American, 1879-1972), cast by Roman Bronze Works, 1930

Bronze Lion Ashtray, Marie Zimmermann (American, 1879-1972), cast by Roman Bronze Works, 1930

Item Description:

A naturalistic bronze lion designed by noted American metalsmith and jeweler Marie Zimmermann (1879-1972) and cast by Roman Bronze Works of Greenpoint, Brooklyn on 11 September 1930. This fully marked bronze comes directly from the artist's estate and is Illustrated on page 130, fig. 4.2 of The Jewelry and Metalwork of Marie Zimmermann, 2011.

The adult male lion is beautifully modeled sitting atop a rocky outcrop with his body angled toward a pool below. His tail dips below the line of rocks toward the water and his full mane frames a face full of crisp detail.

Over a 40 year career, Zimmermann designed imaginative and eclectic pieces reflecting her interests in the natural world. She modeled many of her designs in wax, a technique she adopted at the beginning of her career while studying at the Pratt Institute in New York. After receiving Zimmermann's wax model, Roman Bronze Works cast this piece using the lost wax (cire-perdu) process. Zimmermann used wax modeling and cast bronze techniques for a number of her larger-scale commissions — including funerary monuments — but chose to work in copper, silver and gold for the majority of smaller designs. This lion is one of only a handful of known examples of her work in bronze at this scale. It is fully marked with Zimmermann's encircled MZ logo on the base with the Roman Bronze Works N.Y. founder's mark struck on the outer edge. Crisp details and a lovely patination of deep, rich browns with hints of green on the surface of the pool.


Appears fine. Please contact cataloging@lofty.com for specific condition questions.


The Estate of Marie Zimmermann


Height 4.5 in. x Width 6.5 in. x Length 8 in.

About The Artist:

Marie Zimmermann (1879-1972) was an American metalsmith, jeweler, and designer working in New York City during the opening decades of the 20th century. She was by turns an outdoors woman, employer, world traveler, daughter, sister, and artist; period journalists called her "…master of a dozen crafts...perhaps the most versatile artist in this country" and "the last of the great metal craftsmen...the modern Benvenuto Cellini."

Zimmermann's creative and innovative designs for jewelry, funerary monuments, and ornamental accessories for home and garden were eclectic, often experimental, and informed by her life-long interests in the historical design and the natural world.

Zimmermann studied at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students' League in New York before taking a suite of rooms at the National Arts Club where she maintained a workshop studio and showroom. Her designs were exhibited widely throughout her career and today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City holds the largest collection of her objects, acquiring their first example in 1922. Examples of her creations in jewelry and metalwork are also in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, and the Columbus Museum of Art.

For additional information, see The Jewelry and Metalwork of Marie Zimmermann, American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation and Yale University Press, 2011.


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Bronze Lion Ashtray, Marie Zimmermann (American, 1879-1972), cast by Roman Bronze Works, 1930

Listed price: $8,500.00

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