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Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals (11)

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Antique Art Nouveau Lady Portrait Cheese Knife c 1900

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Plate: Pre 1910   item# 689811

Antique Art Nouveau Lady Portrait Cheese Knife c 1900
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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This exquisite piece of antique cutlery, although technically a cheese knife, would also be a marvelous letter opener for display on your desk. Seven inches long, it has a graceful 3-inch scimitar blade and a gorgeous 4-inch handle about an inch thick, featuring gorgeous portrait heads on both sides. The Victorian beauties shown in profile are amid lots of scrolling floral and foliate detail, including the whiplash curves so typical of Art Nouveau design.

Besides being beautiful, this knife feels great in the hand -- perfectly shaped and weighted for pleasure in use.

That no marks are present signifies great age and, under high magnification, all surfaces show wear appropriate for a Victorian or Edwardian dating (circa 1895 - 1910). The intricate pattern of tiny scratches that gives antique silver its rich patina isn't visible to the naked eye, however. At a glance, the knife is in such fabulous shape that you'd almost mistake it for new. Thus, this is a very rare find, indeed.

About the metal composition, tarnish does lift off with polishing, so there's silver involved at least as plating. The blade seems to have been brightly polished recently, but yielded a little more tarnish when polish was applied. The handle hasn't been polished lately, so I left it alone, except to try a little polish on the outer edges. The experiment showed that it will brighten considerably all over, if you prefer that look. The handle's underlying metal may be pewter and the blade's steel -- or both might be silver of a sturdy, less than sterling grade. Testing with files and acids to find out for sure would be a sacrilege, given the amazing condition of the piece. It reached us from a Pennsylvania estate, but I expect it came from Europe.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Hand-Made Art Nouveau Silver Candlestick circa 1900

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Continental: Pre 1910   item# 551067

Hand-Made Art Nouveau Silver Candlestick circa 1900
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Along with the flowing, organic lines of Art Nouveau, this graceful candlestick shows Arts and Crafts influence in the simplicity of its fabrication. To form the stylized calla flower at center, a sheet of silver was artfully wrapped, seamed and folded, while the engraved ivy leaves, each slightly different, were also cut from sheet silver. The curvy tendril that comprises the base is weightier (great for safety), so some other metal is inside the silver there. No marks are present, but the piece tarnishes and polishes like sterling. Its silver content has to be high.

Although acquired from a dealer in England, the candlestick originated in Continental Europe, I believe, because its measurements are inexact in inches. Height is a little more than 5 inches and width is a bit more than 5.5 inches; in centimeters, that would be 13 by 14. Based on style, France is the best suspect.

As you know if you collect Art Nouveau, authentic pieces are getting very hard to find. This is without a doubt the real thing, having been in my personal collection for decades, and it's a one-of-a-kind treasure since it wasn't factory-made. From every angle, it's stunningly sculptural.

Although at least a century old -- probably dating between 1895 and 1905 -- the candlestick is in lovely condition, showing just a few tiny dings and some tarnish and wax residue deep within the calla flower. I clean it only lightly, to preserve vestiges of age patina, but it will polish to a high shine if you prefer that look.

There's no charge for insured US Priority shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Hammered and Silvered Jardiniere Planter 1905 - 1945

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Plate: Pre 1950   item# 505222

Hammered and Silvered Jardiniere Planter 1905 - 1945
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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The Neo-Classical rope twist ornament and fine Arts & Crafts workmanship of this lovely flower pot or planter argue for an Edwardian dating, as does the the absence of marks. Only because of its marvelous condition do I hesitate to call it that old. There was also a revival of interest in Neo-Classical forms for home decor in the 1940s, so it could be up to 40 years younger than it looks. However, it would be more likely marked by some company if made that late. Given that it came from England but measures precisely in inches, as opposed to centimeters, we can rule out its being more recent. Size is relatively generous: 6 inches in diameter and 4 1/4 inches tall.

Whether antique or merely vintage, this is a marvelous item, both decorative and useful. It's silvered so heavily that you really don't notice wear to the finish, except at the very bottom of the interior, which is amazing for a piece of this type. Even some of that wear, apparently revealing underlying brass, may just be tarnish, since I polished only lightly.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Lovely Edwardian Whiting and Davis Dresden Mesh Bag

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Pre 1920   item# 491059

Lovely Edwardian Whiting and Davis Dresden Mesh Bag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Far more Edwardian in spirit than Art Deco, this remarkable antique evening bag from a Florida estate features baby fine mesh hand-enameled in the Impressionist manner. The subtle blue, green and lilac shades remind me of Monet's waterlily ponds painted at Giverny. As you know, the company's later designs are of larger mesh, decorated with assertive Art Deco colors and on boldly geometric frames. This frame, by contrast, is thoroughly Edwardian, with delicate floral and foliate details also appearing on the oblong links of 13 1/2-inch chain, which shows strong Arts & Crafts influence and is diagonally attached as chains were in the 19th and very early 20th centuries. Probable dating would be between 1907, when C.W. Whiting became a partner in the firm, and 1920.

Exclusive of the gorgeous chain, the bag measures almost 9 inches from its clasp to the lowest point of fringe, and the shape flares to 7 inches wide at the bottom. Thus, it's unusual for size as well as style. Comparably sized W&D bags are now selling in the $300-350 range, but we've priced this example low due to the need to restitch the lining to the frame's perforations. This will be a quick and easy job for anyone handy with a needle (as I'm not). Apart from that, I see no problems of note, only minor age-appropriate surface wear to the mesh and gilding. All the grillions of fine links remain attached, with no tears, and the beautiful floral clasp closes securely.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



Art Nouveau Gilt Bronze Lizard on Leaf Sculpture c1880

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Bronze: Pre 1900   item# 410402

Art Nouveau Gilt Bronze Lizard on Leaf Sculpture c1880
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $345. 

The Victorian keeness for gardening extended to the creatures of the natural world, with the result that reptiles and insects were highly popular forms for 19th century jewels and home adornments. A prime example of the latter - executed in the sinuous Art Nouveau manner - is this finely detailed bronze lizard on an exquisitely modeled leaf. He's so lifelike that you can feel him watching you with great alertness. Unlike most of our other ornamental antique bronzes, this one is so good it deserves the "fine art" designation.

A pleasure to stroke as well as to look at, this delightful little sculpture, measures about 6 1/4 inches long and 2 1/2 inches at its widest. A signature could well be present beneath the heavy patina on reverse, but I haven't found it. Probable origin is France or England, where we acquired the piece. It likely dates from the 1880s, since Art Nouveau influence is evident, but not florid in the 1890s manner. Condition, is superb.

Thanks for looking!



Fine Bronze Art Nouveau Sculptural Lady Tray, 1890s

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Bronze: Pre 1900   item# 405240

Fine Bronze Art Nouveau Sculptural Lady Tray, 1890s
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Shaped like a feather fan and featuring a reclining Victorian beauty in very high relief, this is an exceedingly beautiful and feminine vanity, table or desk accessory. It's a heavy piece and its size is quite generous for a trinket tray - 6.5 x 5 inches, rising on two half-inch feet to a total height of 1.5 inches at the back. Upper side is lightly polished, showing patina in crevices, while the back shows rich overall patina and traces of gilt. Condition, as you see, is lovely, with no flaws I can find. Dating could be as early as 1880s, based on the sculptural style and the fact that the lady is dressed. Likely origin is French, although the tray was acquired in England.

Enjoy this treasure to display your favorite jewels, keep keys handy, serve sweets or hold your business cards at the office.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



1908 Lavish Sterling Hair Brush - Cherub Motif

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Sterling: Pre 1910   item# 401255

1908 Lavish Sterling Hair Brush - Cherub Motif
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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If you collect antique Victorian and Edwardian vanity silver, you know how differently various makers approached the "Five Angels in the Clouds" motif inspired by a popular Victorian painting. This is a highly detailed and romantically floral-bordered rendition by M & Co., a Birmingham silversmith.

The brush measures about 8 3/4 inches by 3" and rises on natural bristles to a height of about 1 3/4" inches. It's still quite useful for its intended purpose - and, to me, few activities are as evocative of the past as brushing my hair just as a lady did before World War I!

Since antique vanity silver patterned with angels or cherubs is vastly more coveted than other Victorian and Edwardian patterns, these pieces don't have to be perfect to keep gaining value. The condition of this piece, as you see, is nice but far from pristine. (Consider how often you've dropped a hair brush!) Besides minor dings, there's a flattened area at left, above the beautiful winged faces, which could probably be raised by a specialist. All this intricate repousse work, as you know, was hand-formed over wax that shrinks with time, so an injection of wax to the flattened spot should set things right. Also, I just noticed a teensy tear at the lower right edge; reinforcing it will be a cheap and easy fix. Typically one finds a great deal more damage to delicate sterling objects made for daily use, so this really isn't bad at all. Of course the price would be more than twice as high, if the brush had no problems.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



1904 Luxurious Sterling Hand Mirror - Cherub Motif

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Sterling: Pre 1910   item# 401254

1904 Luxurious Sterling Hand Mirror - Cherub Motif
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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This Victorian sterling mirror featuring the "5 Angels in the Clouds" is hallmarked for Birmingham 1904 and also bears the maker mark AGG&S. It's one of the prettiest and most finely detailed renditions of the c herub motif, which each maker interpreted slightly differently. Measuring about 10 inches long and 4 inches at its widest, the mirror has a domed top that rises nearly an inch above its beveled glass surface, which is original and very fine glass.

This is quite a heavy piece and in nice condition, considering the extreme delicacy of repousse sterling (hand-formed over wax that shrinks with time). Over the past century, it's inevitably taken a few bumps and some of the angels' noses suffered a bit. Besides minor dings, there's a slightly flattened area just below the winged faces at left (which could probably be raised by a specialist, if it bothers you). As you know if you collect in this area, items patterned with cherubs (or angels, if you prefer) are vastly more coveted than any of the other Art Nouveau Victorian and Edwardian patterns. Hence, they don't have to be perfect to continue increasing tremendously in value.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



1905 Ornate Sterling Clothes Brush - Cherub Motif

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Sterling: Pre 1910   item# 401249

1905 Ornate Sterling Clothes Brush - Cherub Motif
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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This very lovely "Five Angels in the Clouds" clothes brush, hallmarked for Birmingham 1905, is technically Edwardian but of a pattern introduced in the Victorian era. The maker mark is BPD followed by a C or G, which I haven't researched to identify. The brush measures about 7 inches long and 2 1/2 inches at its widest and rises on fine natural bristles to a height of 1 3/4 inches.

This is a piece you could definitely use for its intended purpose, not just display. It hasn't seen a much wear and took only minor bumps over the past century (the worst of which depressed one of the noses and a forehead). Condition is truly remarkable, relative to the great delicacy of repousse sterling. Typically one finds a great deal more damage to these ornate shapes formed over wax, which shrinks with time.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rare Antique Repousse Brass Tussy-Mussy for Bouquet

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Brass: Pre 1940   item# 121529

Rare Antique Repousse Brass Tussy-Mussy for Bouquet
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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If you're planning a Victorian or Edwardian wedding, here's something you might not know you need! Tussy-mussies served to carry ladies' bouquets - particularly bridal flowers - in the 19th and very early 20th centuries.

Our highly ornamented antique from a Deep South estate is of brass, worked in a beautiful repousse floral pattern on the front and both sides. There are small triangular cutouts positioned for inserting flowers in a graceful shape and a tall rope-twisted handle. In lovely condition, it measures 8 1/2" from handle top to pointy base. It would be an exquisite wedding accessory for a bride or her flower girl - and also charming as a vase, if suspended from an ornamental wall hook. It was recently polished before reaching us; we certainly wouldn't have removed the patina.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!


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