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Peer Smed is my children's great grandfather. Although there are many of his pieces, as well as his daughter's, Lona, in Grammy's house, there is a shocking (my word as an outsider)lack of information about him, his workplace, his inspirations...Does anyone have a tidbit or two about his personality or where he left his tools and a huge piece called "The Spirit of the Hudson" left in a rented garage in New York, the family thinks. We would be more than happy to hear from you! thank you so much!! Donna
Your Grandfather was a great silversmith with fabulous skills as a designer and chaser. He has the respect of many collectors. He was featured at an exhibit on Modern Silver during the 30's and actually did a demonstration on forging at the Museum. Contact me by email and I will send you what information I have on his work and history and I will contact the people I know who may be able to shed light on his work and tools.
I stumbled upon your inquirty on the Society of Amerian Silversmith's page and thought I would write you. I am also a great-grandchild of Peer's - so I guess I would be some kind of cousin to your children. My grandma was Peer's youngest daughter, Elsie. I have been doing some research on Peer and have some information to share with you.
Peer was born in Denmark in 1878 and is thought to have been the son of a blacksmith. He worked in iron, brass, copper and is best known for his silversmithing. He won decorations for designing royal household pieces for the Kings of Denmark and Sweden. He came to New York in 1903 to Brooklyn, returned to Denmark in 1907 and then back to New York in 1909. In the U.S. he won several awards for his work, worked with Tiffany's for a time, and was commissioned to make the silverware for the Waldorf-Astoria in New York in 1931. He eventually had his own workshop and gallery - his obituary says that it was located at his home in New York at 30 Irving Place (near Washington Square, I believe), although another source says that it was at 176 Johnson St in Brooklyn. Perhaps it was both. Some of his best pieces were commissioned during the depression in the 1930s, which would indicate that he was working with a wealthy clientele. He taught his oldest daughter Lona (Schaeffer) silversmithing and she continued to make silver flatware and holloware until the 1940s and were commissioned through high end retail shops in New York City. His son Dan also worked in metalworking (mostly copper, I believe), although his other children (Alice, Ellen and Elsie), to my knowledege, did not learn the trade. He had shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art and he currently has pieces in the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as galleries in Chicago, Dallas and Houston. He died at the age of 65 on November 20, 1943.
I have a few family stories as well as scanned photos of Peer, his wife and children if you are interested in seeing them. Feel free to contact me.
I read that you are related to Peer Smed.
I am a dealer and have developed a following for his beautiful pieces.
I am interested in doing a book on Peer Smed and his work.
I would be happy to pay you for scanned images of any information you have on him and Lona as well as pay for professional images for any family pieces to be included in the book.
I am located in California.
Feel Free to call me.
All the best,