Zimmermann created a quite different effect in rings with flat intaglio-cut stones, a popular fashion in jewelry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the example in Figure 6, an intaglio carnelian depicts a classical female figure holding sheaves of wheat, a common ancient symbol of successful harvest, nourishment, and plenty.9 Colorful enameling is applied around the setting, including conventionalized palm leaves at the junctures with the band. In ancient Egypt the palm connoted long life and eternity, but it was a more important symbol for the Romans, to whom it represented success and victory, which Zimmermann may be evoking in a metaphor more consistent with the style and motif of the intaglio.10
William Burges and other influential jewelry designers in the Victorian period created reproductions and reinterpretations of jewels and settings they admired in old master paintings.11 An old master portrait may have been the inspiration for the overall design of Zimmermann's superb choker necklace in Figure 7, but the palette and enameled motifs are thoroughly Egyptian. Pearls are set into cups enameled as exquisite lotus forms; even more striking is the enameled design on the outsides and bottoms of the oblong gemstone settings-an X-shaped motif with a small circle in its center that is remarkably similar to patterns in paintings and textiles found in Egyptian tombs, as pictured in Jones's Grammar of Ornament (see Fig. 8). The angled facets of the gems unite seamlessly with the triangular enamel sections within the trapezoidal links. In turn, these studies in geometry connect serially to the pearls, which subvert the linearity of the scheme with their spheroid forms. Drawing on diverse inspirations and utilizing a bold system of rigid lines and sinuous arcs, Zimmermann's choker defies easy categorization while retaining a sense of mystery and allure.
For the lovely bracelet in Figure 9 Zimmermann combined Egyptian motifs and art deco style in an unusual overall design. Though in her typical green, blue, and red palette, the irregular shapes of the central gemstones-a low-grade emerald, carnelian, and lapis lazuli-are atypical of her work, or of work by most other American jewelers of the period. The tubes of malachite and enameled gold strung on doubled silk cord create a smooth modernist surface also seen, for instance, in some Cartier designs, and perhaps reflecting the influence of the invention of Bakelite around 1907 and its subsequent use in decorative arts, including jewelry. Cartier incorporated Bakelite in some of its jewelry, but also achieved similar effects with enamel, turquoise, coral, onyx, and other semiprecious materials.12
The reverse of Zimmermann's bracelet is equally stunning, enameled with Egyptian motifs likely taken from The Grammar of Ornament or from Egyptian works that Zimmermann saw in museums (Fig. 9a). Those on the ends depict a palm leaf spray typical of decorated columns in ancient Egypt, inset with stylized lotus blossoms, while the ornament on the three central settings is again reminiscent of patterns taken from paintings and textiles found in Egyptian tombs as shown by Jones. The brilliant blue enamel fans at the corners recall the geometric formations of scalloped Egyptian columns and various patterns from painted and woven designs.
One of Zimmermann's most beautiful pieces of revivalist jewelry is an Etruscan style necklace of gold-wrapped wire with shattuckite pendants and coral beads (Fig. 10).13 It recalls settings of Favrile glass beetles by Louis C. Tiffany, though the form of Zimmermann's necklace is closer to ancient Etruscan precedents than to Tiffany's Egypt.14 She was almost certainly aware of the famed Etruscan revival jewelry made by Castellani and Giuliano in Rome, which adorned the necks and wrists of leading figures in art and literature, politics and industry, aristocracy and royalty.15 Zimmermann's design is of uncommon restraint and uncompromising refinement. Its contrasts of blue and orange are subtle and controlled; its rhythms of alternating large and small ovals, beading, and gold rope filigree are elegant and effective. The necklace stands as one of Zimmermann's greatest accomplishments, combining historicist and forward-looking impulses in a unified work of art.
Zimmermann's eye-popping brooch in Figure 12 was included in the National Arts Club exhibition in 1928, and was worn by her friend Dr. Connie Myers Guion in a portrait photograph taken in the 1940s.16 The design succeeds in dramatic style, presenting the subtly contrasting hues of black opal and azurite/malachite in one pair of opposing quarters and shattuckite in the other two; the borders are in her signature Egyptian revival palette, but here presented in tourmalines, small emeralds, and blue and pink sapphires rather than enamel. The polychromy calls to mind necklaces with theatrical settings of large alexandrites, sapphires, emeralds, and black opals that Tiffany and Company offered in the 1920s and 1930s. The shape, color, and textures of the black opals as well as the palette of the other stones, and the way in which both pieces invoke a sense of exoticism, relate the brooch to a Louis C. Tiffany pendant of around 1915 to 1920 in which Australian opals, sapphires, topaz, demantoid garnets, pearls, and chrysoberyl are set in gold in an astonishing frenzy of color and alluring motifs suggestive of the ancient jewels of India.17 There is perhaps an even closer connection between Zimmermann's brooch and a gold and enameled Tiffany and Company one set with deep blue opals, designed by Meta Overbeck and likely created under Louis C. Tiffany's direction.18
One of the pinnacles of Zimmermann's achievements in jewelry is the bracelet in Figure 11, in which multifarious sapphires are united with enameled decoration. The shield shape and tapering form may relate to earlier English models, as well as to some made in New York, such as an 1890s Tiffany and Company gold brooch set with zircons, sapphires, and enamel.19 Indeed, Tiffany and Company sold brooches of similar design and composition throughout the late nineteenth century: at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, the firm showed a "fancy" brooch composed of eleven variously colored sapphires set in gold scrollwork and with a pendant, as well as a ring designed by G. Paulding Farnham with a similar palette of diamonds and sapphires; at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 it presented a brooch of "fancy American sapphires," diamonds, and enamel.20 In addition, among Louis C. Tiffany's creations is a brilliantly colored necklace of emeralds, fire opals, and blue and pink sapphires made around 1918.21 The glamour and drama of Tiffany objects like these may well have enticed Zimmermann toward a similar aesthetic of radiant luxury.