This is a great looking vintage brass pocket watch holder from Virginia Metalcrafters.
NOTE. The pocket watch is not included! Just for display visual effect.
The piece looks like a picture frame, but the back side has a wide, semi-circular pocket to place a pocket watch into so that it can be viewed like a desk or dresser clock. The face has an eagle at the top and a floral and feather motif. The back side has a swivel arm at the bottom to hold the piece upright. It has the Virginia Metalcrafters mark, and is marked 24-35. The holder measures approx. 5 1/2" high and 3 1/2" wide.
Virginia Metalcrafters of Waynesboro, Va. Virginia Metalcrafters reproduced items in brass, iron and specialty metals from Colonial Williamsburg and their items are well known for their quality and handcrafted beauty.
Virginia Metalcrafters was founded on October 6th, 1890, as the W.J. Loth Stove Company. Located in Waynesboro, Virginia, on the western slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, the company manufactured cast iron stoves and wood and coal heaters. The company's motto at the time was, "Loth Stoves Make Happy Homes".
Clemmer realized that the future was not in wood and coal heating and in 1922 hired a Canadian electrical engineer, Mr. Fred Cuffe. Together they designed an electric stove and by the mid 1920's the company was marketing what Clemmer named the Hotpoint Range.
In promoting the cast iron stove business, "Captain Dick," as he was known, used a small cast iron frying pan as his calling card. Upon presenting his "card" at a local resort hotel, Clemmer was asked if he would make a quantity customized for the hotel. It is said that this marked the beginning of the company's gift sales.
In 1938, the company installed equipment for melting brass and other non-ferrous metals and began to market products under the name Virginia Metalcrafters.
Similarly, Clemmer worked with an internationally known sculptor, Oskar Hansen, whose works included the huge angels seen today at either end of the Hoover Dam. Hansen settled in Nelson County, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and carved may patterns for Captain Dick, among them, dozens of leaf shapes. Modeled directly from nature, these leaves range in size from 3 inches to 40 inches and many were actively sold until 2005.
Continuing the development of the gift line, Clemmer signed a license with Colonial Williamsburg in 1951 to produce brass and iron reproductions. The company's hand casting and finishing methods were the same as those used to form the original antiques. Williamsburg was just the first of many museum licenses. Virginia Metalcrafters manufactured licensed products for Colonial Williamsburg, The Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Historic Charleston, Winterthur, Historic Newport, Old Salem, Old Sturbridge Village and The National Trust for Historic Preservation. See the Museums page for more information on these institutions.
In 1953 Charles Eckman purchased the company's assets and formed "Virginia Metalcrafters". Eckman rapidly expanded the company's operations and, in addition to making such diverse products as lawn mowers and tractors, Eckman acquired the E.T. Caldwell Company (makers of Williamsburg reproduction chandeliers) and the Harvin Company of Baltimore, makers of decorative accessories and fireplace equipment.
Until they went out of business in 2005, Virginia Metalcrafters manufactured a broad line of gifts and decorative accessories including tabletop items, table and floor lamps, chandeliers and sconces, fireplace accessories, plus a rapidly growing group of garden accessories including garden animals, birdbaths, sundials and fountains as well as stands to mount them. Products were hand cast in brass, iron, aluminum, bronze, "White Bronze", and pewter using the same methods that had been employed since the company was founded over 100 years ago. Colonial Williamsburg bought some of the Virginia Metalcrafters' molds, and still uses them to produce items today. Not all of their inventory, however, is still being produced.
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