DESCRIPTION: This outstanding antique Letter Rack is quite unique and a very rare piece. Produced by the Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik studio during the early 20th century, the embossed art deco design is timeless. From a Private Collection, this piece is from international origins.
The letter rack is made of copper and features an Egyptian Sphinx and perhaps an art deco adaptation of the female pharaoh and Sphinx of Hatshepsut. Other ancient symbols found on this embossed piece include water reeds/cattails that were used as a source of Egyptian writing material and represented peace and a new beginning. At the top, we believe to be an art deco interpretation of the Ouroboros, the travels of the sun god Aton, representing perpetuity and rebirth. The top edge of the letter rack resembles two pyramids with sun rays. The details are fascinating and this art deco piece brilliantly combines antiquities with a moderne period of design history.
The Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF) studio was founded in 1853 as Daniel Straub. Through a merger between Straub & Schweir of Geislingen and A. Ritter & Co. of Esslingen in 1880, the company became know as WMF. The factory produced metal and electroplated housewares, eating utensils that included flatware and serving pieces, and reproductions of historical metalware. The art studio was run by the sculptor Albert Mayer with a staff of anonymous modellers, craftsmen and other designers. WMF produced original pieces on occasion, but most often followed the prevailing design trend.
WHY I LIKE IT: I believe your personal desk, whether used for writing correspondences or business, should hold your most cherished items. If you are a collector of Egyptian art or pieces of the art deco period, this fantastic letter rack is a must-have. It is both functional and representative of two very distinct historical times that influenced society and culture.
BACKSTAMP(s): WMF running ostrich in a partial rhombus (embossed)
ARTIST SIGNATURE: none
CONDITION: Fine. Copper is aged; wear is consistent with age & use, imperfections are minor. No denting. Manufacturing is of a handcrafted process and consistent with the period..
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Thank You for visiting ModerneAntiques & Collectibles. Best, Maureen