Herter Brothers (1864-1906) Important Pair of Andirons circa 1878from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago brass, ironheight 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)

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Lot 38
Herter Brothers (1864-1906)
Important Pair of Andirons
circa 1878
from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago
brass, iron
height 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)

Sold for US$ 162,575 inc. premium
Herter Brothers (1864-1906)
Important Pair of Andirons
circa 1878
from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago
brass, iron
height 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)

Footnotes

  • One of only two pairs known, the other pair supplied by Herter circa 1882 for William H. Vanderbilt's bedroom at 51st St and 5th Avenue, New York, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (L.2015.69.1).

    The bold open-jawed lions surmounting each andiron appear elsewhere in Herter's work, for example on the stiles of an armchair made for James Goodwin around 1874 (illustrated in Herter Brothers, p. 168). The bold, pierced stylized sunflowers, a key symbol of the aesthetic movement, were also used in a similar fashion on a pair of andirons by English architect Thomas Jeckyll, adapting a motif he used on the railings he made for the Japanese pavilion at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.

    The Marshall Field Mansion at 1905 Prairie Avenue was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1873 at a cost of approximately $250,000. The library in which the andirons were placed contained low bookcases, fine bindings, mahogany paneling, a Venetian mirror, pate sur pate porcelain, portrait busts, and various other decorative arts including a pair of armchairs, possibly lot 37, the previous lot in this sale. Despite the presence of Herter pieces in this room, it may not have been part of a full decoration commission by Herter; nevertheless, according to Sheldon, the library was "delightful to both mind and eye" with furniture "in harmony with the richness and quiet elegance of this beautiful room". The contents were sold in 1935 and the house served as a center for the Bauhaus in 1937-38, before it was eventually demolished in 1955.

    Literature
    G. W. Sheldon, 'Artistic Houses, Being a Series of Interior Views of a Number of the Most Beautiful and Celebrated Homes in the United States', New York, 1883 (reprinted 1971), Vol. 2 Part 1. pp. 43-47
    K. Howe, A. C. Frelinghuysen and C. H. Voorsanger, 'Herter Brothers - Furniture and Interiors for a Gilded Age', New York, 1994, p. 168 for the James Goodwin chair.
Contacts
Herter Brothers (1864-1906) Important Pair of Andirons circa 1878from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago brass, ironheight 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)
Herter Brothers (1864-1906) Important Pair of Andirons circa 1878from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago brass, ironheight 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)
Herter Brothers (1864-1906) Important Pair of Andirons circa 1878from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago brass, ironheight 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)
Herter Brothers (1864-1906) Important Pair of Andirons circa 1878from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago brass, ironheight 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)
Herter Brothers (1864-1906) Important Pair of Andirons circa 1878from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago brass, ironheight 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)
Herter Brothers (1864-1906) Important Pair of Andirons circa 1878from the library of the Marshall Field House, Chicago brass, ironheight 25 1/2in (65cm); width 12in (31cm); depth 20 3/4in (52.5cm)
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