American Arts & Crafts

Potter Studio

Hand-Carved White Jade & Brass

~ Bookends ~

Ca. 1915-1924

            This rare pair of elegant bookends by the famous Potter Studio is a very bright example of an object in the pure Arts and Crafts movement tradition - the perfect rendering, the conciseness of design, the severity and the refined simplicity of the lines of the brass parts; as well as the use of contrasting romantic elements - in this case, beautifully hand-carved white jade medallions, depicting Paradise birds surrounded by flowers.

 Dimensions:

Height: 5 1/2"         Length: 7"         Width: 4"

                 Both bookends are in excellent antique condition: the brass parts have original intact patina with no scratches or imperfections; the hand-carved white jade medallions are in perfect condition with no brakes or cracks. Each of the bookends is hallmarked "Potter Studio".

 Horace E. Potter (1873 - 1948)

                Horace Ephraim Potter was born into a prosperous Cleveland family in 1873…. Potter began his studies [at the Cleveland School of Art (CSA)] in 1894, graduating in June 1898…. After graduation from CSA, Potter embarked upon a year of study with Amy Sacker at the Cowles School of Art in Boston. Potter exhibited in [the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts'] second annual exhibitionin Copley Hall in April 1899, and at the conclusion of his studies received a master's degree, specializing in metal­work. Returning to Cleveland, he taught at the Cleveland School of Art from 1900 to 1909, giving classes in decorative design and historic ornament.

                While teaching, Potter established a studio in downtown Cleveland. In 1905 he moved to his family's farm on the edge of the city, converting a chicken coop where he and CSA classmates Wilhelmina Stephan and Ferdinand Burgdorff designed and made silver and jewelry…. Potter maintained strong ties with Boston, becoming a "craftsman" member of the Society of Arts and Crafts in 1907 and attaining master classification the following year.

                Potter spent four and a half months in England and Europe in the spring and summer of 1907, visiting Ashbee in August…. When Potter returned from his European trip in 1907, it was clear that his experience of Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft had confirmed his belief that the creative spirit was best nurtured when artists worked together. Moving to a series of locations on Euclid Avenue between 1910 and 1928, Potter expanded his space and founded Potter Studio.

                Potter may have been attempting to recreate the interdisciplinary atmosphere of Ashbee's guild by opening his premises to other artists as well. He employed fellow graduates and former students of the Cleveland School of Art, and welcomed artists in other mediums with lodging and studio space. R. Guy Cowan, the founder of Cowan Pottery, came to Cleveland in 1908 to establish a ceramics program at the city's innovative Technical High School. Potter became Cowan's landlord and supported his endeavors. Cowan founded his own business in 1913, but Potter purchased studio-made vessels as early as 1909 and embellished them with silver or pewter lids.

                Marrying fellow silversmith Florence Loomis in 1914, he went on to found Potter & Bentley Studios in 1928, and Potter & Mellen in 1933. In 1928, Gurdon W. Bentley and Potter became partners, moved the shop to its current location, and renamed it Potter Bentley Studios.  The new shop expanded to sell items such as china and garden accessories.  Bentley dissolved the partnership in 1933, and that year Louis Mellen joined the company, which was renamed to its present Potter and Mellen, Inc. Horace E. Potter died in 1948,and in 1967, Louis Mellen sold the firm to both Frederick Miller,a renowned designer & silversmith, and Jack Schlundt. Together both maintained the tradition of hand-wrought jewelry and hollowware.

                In 1989, Ellen Stirn Mavec purchased Potter and Mellen, Inc. which remains in its same location at 10405 Carnegie Avenue. Ellen has continued the tradition of excellence in craftsmanship by hiring only the finest jewelers to work in the studios, as well as highlighting giftware and antiques, her personal expertise.

 Arts and Crafts movement

                The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between 1880 and 1910, emerging in Japan in the 1920s. it stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards.

$450


Austrian Jugenstil

~ Brass Box ~

Ca. 1900

                Wonderful in its unique Jugenstil style and semi-spherical design, this stunning repose hand-hammered brass box with cover was made in Austria (probably, Vienna), circa 1900. Unmarked. Excellent condition with only minor signs of usage.  Would make a gorgeous addition to any collection!

 Dimensions:

Height: 6 1/2 inches               Diameter: 5 3/4 inches

               Austrian Jugendstil

                The Austrian Jugendstil differs dramatically in style from the other European styles. Vienna was the heart of an independent movement. In contrast to the floral patterns and shapes of the French artist Charles Plumet a special unique style was developed in Vienna.; clear lines were introduced into architecture (Adolf Loos: Villa Steiner/ House at Michaelerplatz; Otto Wagner: Vienna`s City Railway/ Post Office and Interior in Vienna) as it was also introduced into furniture design (Josef Hoffmann, Kolo Moser). The Vienna artists joined together with writer Hermann Bahr, the painter Gustav Klimt and the architect Otto Wagner to form the „Wiener Secession“. Artistic disciplines were not separated from each other in Jugendstil, but flowed together. The artists endeavored to complete a "Gesamtkunstwerk" (total art work). They brought their Avant Garde ideas into all fields of art and daily life: Literature – Music – Painting – Architectur – Furniture design – Cloth weaving – Wallpaper – Lighting – Jewelry – Cutlery – Glass – Heating systems. Their appreciation of details in their work is expressed in the use of: Faceted Glass, decorative and ornamented wood and metalwork.

$850


American Arts & Crafts

Lacquered Brass and Bronze

~ Jewelry Tray ~

Ca. 1900

                This beautiful terracotta-color lacquered brass jewelry tray with bronze handle in the form of a leaf is tastefully decorated with a patinated bronze handle in form of a branch and miniature turtle and a fly. Unmarked.

 Dimensions:

Length: 9 3/4 inches         Width: 3 1/8 inches

 

The Arts and Crafts Movement

                The Arts and Crafts movement emerged during the late Victorian period in England, the most industrialized country in the world at that time. Anxieties about industrial life fueled a positive revaluation of handcraftsmanship and pre-capitalist forms of culture and society. Arts and Crafts designers sought to improve standards of decorative design, believed to have been debased by mechanization, and to create environments in which beautiful and fine workmanship governed. The Arts and Crafts movement did not promote a particular style, but it did advocate reform as part of its philosophy and instigated a critique of industrial labor; as modern machines replaced workers, Arts and Crafts proponents called for an end to the division of labor and advanced the designer as craftsman.

$1,100


American Arts & Crafts

~ Vase ~

Ca. 1900-1910

                This is a stunning hand-crafted Art Nouveau/Arts & Crafts Era (Circa 1900-1910) double-handled vase, constructed of beautiful, richly patinated copper. The vase has not been polished, in order to preserve its natural, aged beauty. Unmarked, but exceptional. Though it is around 100 years old, it is nearly perfect, having only some very light bumps here and there, absolutely not affecting the beauty of this historic pieces.

 Dimensions:

Height: 16 inches            Diameter: 8 inches            Base diameter: 6 inches

The Arts and Crafts Movement

                The Arts and Crafts movement emerged during the late Victorian period in England, the most industrialized country in the world at that time. Anxieties about industrial life fueled a positive revaluation of handcraftsmanship and pre-capitalist forms of culture and society. Arts and Crafts designers sought to improve standards of decorative design, believed to have been debased by mechanization, and to create environments in which beautiful and fine workmanship governed. The Arts and Crafts movement did not promote a particular style, but it did advocate reform as part of its philosophy and instigated a critique of industrial labor; as modern machines replaced workers, Arts and Crafts proponents called for an end to the division of labor and advanced the designer as craftsman.

$250


GERMAN JUGENSTIL

WMF

~ A Pair of Challises ~

Ca. 1910

Dimensions:

Height: 10 7/8 inches         Top diameter: 4 7/8 inches         Bottom diameter:        5 inches

                This pair of challises is a rare example of the famous WMF early Jugenstil objects, famous among collectors for their unique style and an unusual combination of materials - in this case, copper and wood. The bottom is marked with a beehive stamp with a running ostrich in the middle. As this particular early mark was introduced in 1909 and y mark was in use only up to 1914, we estimate the approximate year of the production, as 1910.

WMF

                Originally Würtemburgische Machin Fabrik AG, WMF was originally founded in 1853 in Geislingen an der Steige, Germany.  In 1880 there was an amalgamation of Straub & Sohn and A Ritter & Co. and the factory became famous for domestic and art metal ware with an appropriate change of name to Würtemburgische Metallwaren Fabrik AG.  A variety of marks have been used during their 150 years of production.  The well known 'ostrich' mark originates from the German word for ostrich, 'Der Strauss' after Daniel Straub, one of the founders.  The 'G' in the mark stands for the town of Geislingen, on the River Fils and near Ulm in Baden-Württemburg. 

 

$1,400


French Art Nouveau

Hammered Copper

~ Vase ~

Ca. 1900

Dimensions: 

Height: 19 1/2″         Bottom width: 6"         Top diameter: 2 5/8"

                This striking, tall & elegant French Art Nouveau decorative vase is made out of wood, hammered copper and leather, with its narrow top encrusted with four round art glass cabochons. The unusual shape of the vase with a narrow elongated neck perfectly matches the contours of the couple of swans, quietly floating on a pond.

$1,700