This is a very substantial bowl that was originally intended to be an ashtray with a handle on top that supports a matchbox holder. Because of its size it was probably intended for a public location such as a hotel lobby or club of some sort. The diameter of the bowl at the top of the rim is 7 inches and the height of the bowl is 3.5 inches. The total height including the handle and matchbox holder on top is a substantial 9.375 inches. The piece is clearly stamped "Goberg" on the underside and “Germany” along the side of the matchbox holder. There is a marvelous stamped embossed design around the upper edge of the bowl and repeated on the matchbox holder. We have never seen this design used on any of Goberg’s other pieces. The bowl sits on four round hammered iron feet. The condition is very good with the normal oxidation that is associated with ironwork. The matchbox holder has quite a bit of corrosion inside with a small amount on the outside. We have put a layer of protective wax on the piece to maintain the surface and inhibit any further oxidation. When sitting on a table it announces its presence with authority. It would make a wonderful candy dish or bowl for other types of treats. The look of the piece is wonderful. All aspects of the metalwork are sound and there are no structural problems. This is the only piece like this that we have ever seen. You will probably never see another one of these as all Goberg pieces are becoming more and more scarce.
Goberg is the name for a metalwork shop in Germany during the Jugendstil era around 1900 to 1920. Jugendstil was Germany's contribution to the Arts and Crafts movement. The shop was run by Hugo Berger and was characterized by hand worked iron and steel pieces. He did much work with candelabras and smoking related items. Many of his items were sold through Liberty of London and some of them worked their way across the pond to the U.S. When you see a piece that you like, buy it! Goberg items are quite rare and you might never see a particular piece more than once.
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