These happy dancers must know that they had the good fortune to be made by master metalist Francisco Rebajes, well-known for his great copper and silver work. (There he is in the photo, maybe making THIS very pin.)
The Modernist pin features the three modern dancers in bright copper against oxidized copper on a bright copper plaque. Two corners are curled in Rebajes' signature style. The back is signed REBAJES.
The pin measures 2 3/8 inches across by 1 3/4 inches high. Secure rollover clasp on the back. There's some wear to the pin's surface, commensurate with age, use, and lots of dancing. Still in very good vintage condition. Striking and spirited and always unique. Circa 1950s.
A bit of compatible history to our own...Francisco Rebajes was one of the first craftsman jewelers in New York's Greenwich Village. (We had one of the first memorabilia stores in Greenwich Village.) In 1932, he got married though he was very poor with few prospects. (We had to borrow money from parents to open our store) The couple spent their honeymoon riding the subway. (We walked.) A kind friend let them stay in his basement where Frank found an old set of plumber's tools with which he fashioned a small collection of animals from tin cans. (We had a small collection of live animals and ate food that came out of tin cans.) He exhibited these early sculptures on an ironing board at the first Washington Square outdoor art show. (We always went to the Washington Square Art Show). It was an ironic coincidence that we became avid collectors of Rebajes jewelry and sculptures BEFORE we ever knew a thing about him.
The director of the Whitney Museum, Juliana Force, bought all of his tin can animals and with that money he rented his first store at 182 West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. In the early 1950's, Rebajes opened a beautiful modern store on 5th Avenue at 37th street (see photo). It had S-shaped glass counters suspended by steel rods from the ceiling. He arranged the store windows to be as artistic as the work he displayed in them. By this time his jewelry was selling so well that he was producing it for stores all over the country. He had a workshop with many (he claimed 100!) craftsmen making his designs. He spent his days in the workshop while his wife Pauline ran the store with salesladies.
In the 1970's, Rebajes began to concentrate more on sculpture than jewelry. Some of his work was based on the Mobius strip and theories of synchronicity and movement. Along with making elegant steel sculptures, he took copious notes. He applied for patents in 8 or 9 countries for a mysterious discovery that precipitated his nomination for a French "Academy of Science" Prize. Rebajes eventually gave up the hustle of NYC life and moved to Malaga Spain. His wife's death in 1988 left Rebajes devastated. He developed Parkinson's and could no longer work. He was forced to sell all his tools and machinery. Two years later, Rebajes went to Boston to make a presentation of his Mobius work at MIT. After his presentation, he returned to his hotel room and ended his life. He was 85.
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Modernist REBAJES Copper Pin Brooch - Dancers Dancing