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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Craft: Jewelry: "Antique" Pendant

Florence Koehler

(born 1861 -- died Rome, Italy 1944)

Florence Koehler was an interior decorator and furniture advisor in addition to making jewelry. She never spoke of her background, even to friends, who suspected she had a “rather humble origin and grim early environment.” She traveled throughout Europe and had many creative friends, including American writer Henry James, who dubbed her “The Conversationalist.” She began as a potter and started making jewelry after moving to London. Koehler lived in Rome during World War II and died just before American troops retook the city, leaving all of her possessions to her friend Mary Elizabeth Sharpe of Rhode Island. (Laurie Eglington Kaldis, ed., Portrait of an Artist, 1947)