Art Deco Wrought Iron & Marble Console Table | Rose Uniacke

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Art Deco Wrought Iron & Marble Console Table


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About this piece

Blackened wrought iron console/radiator screen base with later Grand Antique marble top, the grill with openwork decoration consisting of central pineapple and associated leaf ensemble on a background of C scrolls and bark-line uprights.

France, circa 1922

A striking mix of realism and abstract form, the design's comparative restraint shows that we have entered a new era of refinement. Gone is the exaggerated, fantastical nature of pre-war Art Nouveau and fussy over-ornamentation. Instead, we see an aesthetic based on the measured discipline and quality of the ironwork, with abstraction beginning to come to the fore (as seen with the spirals).

The screen's workmanship is very much in the manner of Edgar Brandt, in particular his series of radiator screens from 1922 called Les Fruits, which share the same motifs and technical applications. There are the multitudes of concentric C scrolls (evoking stylised organic forms), the 'potato peeling' coils found near to the central fruit ensemble and the hammered uprights resembling bark; all distinctive hallmarks of Brandt's workshop from this period.

Though no clear attribution can be made, especially since he always stamped his work due to extensive copying, by 1925 Brandt already faced 20 established direct competitors in Paris and within three years there would be 78 decorative iron companies. Post war reconstruction and prosperity was fuelling the fashion for iron-work and there was more than enough work to go around.

There is a long tradition of iron screens in France, dating from the 12th Century church, where decorative metal-work would protect reliquaries and demarcated space. By the 1920s radiator covers had gained particular importance with improved indoor heating and held a special fascination with the public. The Art Deco proliferation of glamorous Hotels and Ocean Liners would see the radiator screen join the front ranks of avant-garde design.


H 90cm x W 88.5cm x D 25.5cm
H 35½" x W 35" x D 10¼"

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