For sale here is a HUGE and rare vintage 1950s handmade copper modernist abstract design pendant by Francisco Rebajes of NYC. One of the rarer and more sought-after designs by Rebajes from the period! 'Frank' Rebajes was one of the earliest self-trained studio metalsmiths in the US, starting back in the early 1930s. He quickly went from selling his idiosyncratic jewelry creations on the street to a posh and stylish showroom on 5th Avenue in the 1940s! He sold his business in 1958, and moved to Torremolinos Spain where he worked on his famous Ovulos sculptures and one of a kind pieces of jewelry and decorative art. Here is a short biography of the artist that I found online:
In 1922, Francisco Torres arrived in New York on a steam ship from his hometown of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, at the age of sixteen. Despite being an unaccompanied minor, he convinced immigration authorities to allow him to enter the United States by speaking the fluent English he learned from a native Virgin Islander living in Puerto Plata and revealing the $300 he had in his pocket. With his sights set on building his fortunes, Francisco Torres gradually transformed himself into Frank Rebajes. He adopted his mother’s last name of Rebajes, which he believed had a more interesting air, and in New York, he soon became known as “Frank” among his inner circle of artists, writers, and intellectuals. While living in a friend’s basement, Rebajes began transforming cans and scrap metal into animal shaped sculptures using the everyday tools his friend had lying around. In 1932, he displayed these works on an ironing board at the Washington Square Park Outdoor Festival and caught the eye of Juliana Force, the first director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, who purchased the entire collection for $30. Rebajes used the money to open his first shop in Greenwich Village—a four-foot wide space between two buildings with an improvised roof and a dirt floor. There he began developing what would become his emblematic line of copper jewelry, which was an accessibly priced collection inspired by cultural references, Modern art, and the natural world. His jewelry quickly gained popularity and in the late 1930s, his work was included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair. With his newfound success, Rebajes upgraded to larger storefronts in Greenwich Village, until in 1942, he settled in an expansive space at 355 Fifth Avenue called Rebajes Jewelry and Gifts. (See my photo of a post card from that shop in the photo section, also a short biography of the artist from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and a photo of the artist in his workshop.) Designed by Puerto Rican architect José Fernández, the store boasted an avant-garde interior with an S-shaped counter suspended from the ceiling as its centerpiece. (I believe that this pair of S-shaped candelabra were probably made about the same time ie 1942 for the new store.) The store reflected the Modernist principles that were taking hold at the time and featured subdued colors, gray marble, pickled oak, and bronze trim. Rebajes’s atelier also grew to include 100 artisans; yet, despite the growth of his business he continued to design and create prototypes for all the works himself. Copper made up the majority of the production, however, silver, gold, semi-precious stones, enamel, and even found objects were used on occasion. At the workshop, the most important pieces were hand produced, while by the 1950s the majority of the jewelry was cast or die stamped and then hand assembled. In 1958 Rebajes sold his business and moved to Torremolinos Spain to work on his art projects although he did continue to make jewelry and decorative objects usually on a one of a kind basis."
This pendant measures 3-1/4" long by 1-5/8" wide. Shown on a copper wire neckring in a couple of my photos which is not included with the pendant. Marked at back, "Rebajes" with his unique stylized mark. Excellent vintage condition with just fine light wear and tarnish as shown - please view the photos, read the description, and ask all questions prior to purchase. I am open to reasonable offers from serious buyers.
HUGE Rare Vintage 1950s Francisco REBAJES NYC Handmade Copper Biomorphic Modernist PENDANT - measures 3-1/4" long by 1-5/8"!
$395 40% Off
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