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Deco Eagle Bookend

Spread Eagle Bookends:  Solid bronze. Height 4 inches. circa 1930

 

The dominant Art Deco motif in nineteen thirties America was streamline, and all manner of objects were given streamlined exteriors to look modern.  To look modern was to look cool in thirties America.  Along side the streamlining, there was a geometric motif, which began earlier, in the twenties.  Objects were made in geometric shapes or covered with geometric figures.

The eagle Bookends shown here are composed of triangles, rectangles and trapezoids, all geometric angled figures.  Very deco. Angled features were called zigzag deco.

Not all geometric objects were were zigzag.  Some were composed of curving geometric figures, like the bookends shown here entitled Rings and Balls, made up in this instance almost entirely of spheres and circular rings.

Copper or brass?   Height 5.25  inches. Inscription:  Shopmark of Chase Inc.   Attributed to Walter Von Nessen.  circa 1936.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2018 in Animals, Art Deco, Streamline

 

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Chase Co. Colonial Bookends

Colonial Bookends: Brass.  Height 6 inches.  Inscription:  Chase shopmark of a centaur and the word Chase.  1933.  The brass is finished in Chase’s English Bronze.

Colonial Bookends: Brass.  Height 6 inches.  Inscription:  Chase shopmark of a centaur and the word Chase.  1933.  The brass is finished in Chase’s English Bronze.

These bookends are listed in the 1933 Chase Brass & Copper Co. catalogue as Colonial bookends.  The relationship of these bookends to our colonial era is not clear to us.  But, their modernist art style is certainly clear.

The Modernist style originated in Germany in the beginning of the twentieth century.  It was not an immediate success outside of Germany, but it matched the growing industrialization of the West, and it persisted and grew, eventually becoming an important component of Art Deco in the United States in the nineteen twenties and thirties.

An object of Modernist design was simple, decorative, and functional, and was assembled from machine-made parts.These bookends, produced by the Chase Brass & Copper company are a good illustration of the Modernist style.  Each bookend is assembled from two pieces of brass sheeting, and held together by three small machine screws. The three small buttons visible are the nuts for the screws.  This is masterful industrial design.  Both pieces are clearly formed by machine, the assembly of the pieces is simple and strong, and the finished products are decorative and function perfectly as bookends.

Products formed by machine, and with little hand labor, were increasingly favored in America during the nineteen twenties and thirties as the industrialization of America proceeded.  The Modernist style was clearly appropriate, and influenced the production of many objects during our Art Deco period, sometimes called the machine age.

Centaur Logo of Chase Brass & Copper Co.  Adopted in 1928.

Centaur Logo of Chase Brass & Copper Co. Adopted in 1928.

The Chase Brass & Copper Company-Specialty Division was formed in 1930, an offshoot of the Waterbury Manufacturing Company of Connecticut which began in the nineteenth century.  The division functioned for about 12 years and gave us copper, brass and chromed household objects of exceptional industrial design.  Today these Chase pieces are avidly collected as decorative Art Deco objects.  Because of collector demand, Chase bookends are relatively expensive and hold their value well.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2015 in Art Deco, Art Styles, Modernist

 

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