Clemens Friedell hand wrought sterling silver picture frame, California Arts & Crafts era, 9 1/2" x 12 1/8", marked "Friedell Pasadena Sterling." Price: $1,900.
Clemens Friedell was born near New Orleans in 1872. Three years later, his family moved to Vienna, where he was educated and eventually apprenticed to an Austrian silversmith. At the age of seveteen he moved to Texas, and in 1901 joined Gorham in Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked for seven years on their prestigious Martelé ("hammered" in French) hand wrought line. In 1911 he found his way to Pasadena, California, and gained notoriety the following year with his "orange blossom set" for brewing tycoon E. R. Maier.
Friedell catered to the local carriage trade with a series of heavy silver "equine portrait plaques" for his horse-loving customers. He received numerous commissions, and was highly sought after as a maker of trophies for organizations including the one that ran the Tournament of Roses parade. He set up shop in the Hotel Maryland, one of Pasadena's swankier resorts, and did well enough to retire to Texas in 1921. After divorcing his wife in 1927, he moved back to California and set up another store on Pasadena's main street. He began making everyday silver items, and remained there until his death in 1963.