Jacob J. Roosjen SRI

DUTCH SILVER BOWL, Lodewijk Willem van Kooten jr., Amsterdam, 1935


Detail Description

The deep circular bowl is chased with a décor of six large hearts, connected by reclining ovals on a matted background. At the bottom six stylized plain leaves are applied, issuing six scroll supports. Fully marked on the rim at the reverse and struck with the retailer’s mark  LW van Kooten, Amsterdam.

Lodewijk Willem van Kooten (29 April 1903 – 28 November 1972) was the son of the goldsmith and jeweller Lodewijk Willem (Louis) van Kooten (1875–1949) and Elisabeth Georgine Meijer (1880–1946), daughter of an Amsterdam silversmith family. The Van Kooten family business was located at Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 32 and later at Kerkstraat 150, where there was both living space and a large studio space. At school, Lody turned out to be very good at drawing. His creativity and interest in art were stimulated by his aunt Margaretha Verwey, a sister of the author Albert Verwey. Her handicraft shop was located at Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 64/66, nearby his parental home. She advised him to go to the State Academy. As a 16-year-old, Lody ended up with Professor Antoon Derkinderen on the Stadhouderskade. Through this professor and his aunt, who were both members of the Wahanalogue of the Theosophical Faculty in Amsterdam, he came into contact with theosophical ideas. After Margaretha's move to Blaricum in 1920, Lody visited her regularly and came into contact with various artists from Laren and Blaricum, including the young painter and etcher Jan Koeman, who lived with his wife on the Torenlaan in Blaricum. The contacts with Jan Koeman were so positive that Lody soon said goodbye to the academy in Amsterdam and started his apprenticeship with him. He does this in the weekends, because during the normal working days he learns the gold and silversmith's craft with his father Louis and his uncle Pieter Christoffel in the parental business in the Kerkstraat in Amsterdam.

In 1922 he left for a study trip to France and did not return until 1925. After his return to the Netherlands, he started to focus more on the design and manufacture of forged bronze and silver consumer goods and applied items. He also started carving during this period. After his short-lived marriage in 1928, he and his first wife went to live in a villa designed by Berlage, La Fulica, Torenlaan 31 in Blaricum, a gift from his parents. After the divorce, he continued to live there. At that time he joined the Laren painters' circle, of which he soon takes on the role of secretary-treasurer and in this capacity organizes several art exhibitions in the well-known Laren Hotel Hamdorff. He would continue in this position until just before the start of the Second World War, despite his extremely busy work and periods abroad.

In the meantime, he produced a considerable number of silver utensils in the hand-forged style, a mixture of Dutch New Style and Art Deco, including a large number of bowls, trays, bonbon bowls, candlesticks, tea and coffee sets, smoking sets, toilet sets, ashtrays, cups and also cutlery. In 1930 he was asked by his father Louis to send some silver objects (cups and bowls) to the seventeenth Biennale Venezia 1930, for which he received a "Diploma di Partecipatione"; His silverware is seen as an innovative success and widely praised. From about 1930 onwards he also worked as a technical advisor for a Belgian business friend and old French friend of father Louis, the firm Wolfers Frères in Brussels, in addition to his work in the parental business in Amsterdam and his art production in his home/studio in Blaricum. He would continue to do this intermittently until 1939.

Because of this Belgian situation, he travelled between the Netherlands, Belgium and France and had a lot of international contacts. This was one of the reasons why he was asked to submit an entry to the "Exposition Internationale des Arts & Techniques 1937" in Paris. Here he sent in only one object, a silver bonbonniere. However, he won a prize with this, because this one piece turned out to be worth the silver medal and the accompanying "Diplome de Medaille d' Argent". This versatile artist is referred to as a "goldsmith, graphic artist, designer, painter, watercolourist, etcher, draughtsman, pen artist, pastellist, sculptor, enameller, and medallist" who made utensils with wood, bronze, stone, silver and gold. From 1937 to 1964 he lived in Amsterdam and after 1964 in De Koog on the isle of Texel. He died in 1972.


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DUTCH SILVER BOWL, Lodewijk Willem van Kooten jr., Amsterdam, 1935



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