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Walter von Nessen Art Deco Bookends

$1,200per set


Pair of sculptural Art Deco bookends, designed by Walter Von Nessen for Chase, unsigned, American, circa 1930s. They are believed to be constructed of brass, but have taken on a warm bronze color patina.


  • Creator
  • Dimensions
    Height: 8.75 in. (22.23 cm)Width: 6 in. (15.24 cm)Depth: 3 in. (7.62 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Very good original condition. Various surface scratches, age spots, and wear, commensurate with age and use. Retain warm original patina.
  • Seller Location
    Atlanta, GA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU871818615862

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $110 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 3-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Atlanta, GA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Designer

Walter Von Nessen

Art Deco industrial designer Walter von Nessen is best known for his glamorous Machine Age lighting designs and for his invention of the swing-arm lamp. Von Nessen was born in Germany, where he studied under Bruno Paul at Berlin’s Kunstgewerbeschule. After World War I, he worked for the architect Peter Behrens, in Berlin. He left in 1919 for Stockholm, where he designed furniture until emigrating with his wife, Margaretta, to the United States in 1923. In 1927, the couple opened Nessen Studios in Manhattan, designing and selling sleek, modern architectural lighting.

Art Deco was both novel and exciting in the late 1920s — as, indeed, was electricity itself — and Nessen Studios was at the forefront of the movement. Electric lighting designers at the time had no direct models to follow. The shapes and silhouettes of gas lamps, lanterns and chandeliers had been influenced by those of the kerosene-, oil- and candle-lit fixtures that preceded them, which in turn were informed by the fuels they used. Electric lighting required designs that accommodated essentials of the new technology, like cords and sockets. Von Nessen and his contemporaries thus had to create fixtures that addressed these challenges and looked modern without appearing overly mechanical.

Along with industrial-design visionaries of the period like Raymond Loewy, Gilbert Rohde and Donald Deskey, von Nessen crafted a style that was emblematic of the Machine Age. He produced lamps and home accessories from spun aluminum, with smooth surfaces that evoked the polished gleam of streamlined automobiles and airplanes. And he experimented with other popular materials of the era, such as Bakelite, chrome and fiberglass. His ingenious design for the now-ubiquitous swing-arm lamp earned him a reputation as an innovator.

Von Nessen’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum, among other institutions. Designed to complement the luxurious interiors of the 1920s and ‘30s, still look fresh nearly a century later.

About the Seller
4.7 / 5
Located in Atlanta, GA
Vetted Seller
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Established in 1996
1stDibs seller since 2009
1,726 sales on 1stDibs
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