Antique Cast Iron George Martha Washington Wall Bust Silhouette Metalcrafts 1946 For Sale
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ANTIQUE SET CAST IRON PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON & HIS WIFE MARTHA BUST PROFILE FACE WALL HANGING PLAQUE BY VIRGINIA VIRGINIA METALCRAFTERS CIRCA 1946
Virginia Metalcrafters was founded on October 6th, 1890, as the W.J. Loth Stove Company. Located in Waynesboro, Virginia the company manufactured cast iron stoves and wood and coal heaters. In the late 1890’s frying pans, waffle irons, tea kettles and other cookware were added to the company’s product line. Mr. Loth died in 1904 and his son Percy ran the company till the end of World War I, when he invited his paternal cousin, retired Army Captain Richard Clemmer, to take control of the business. In 1922 Clemmer 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.
Upon presenting a small cast iron frying pan 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. Although World War II halted the casting of brass products, immediately after the war, Clemmer continued developing the gift line. During that time Clemmer worked with an internationally known sculptor, Oskar Hansen and the artist Calvin Roy Kinstler.
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.
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. The company went out of business in 2005. Colonial Williamsburg bought some of the Virginia Metalcrafters’ molds, and still uses them to produce items today.
The featured items represents a set of cast iron wall hanging busts of George and Martha Washington that measure approximately 4 1/2" x 3 3/4" at the widest and longest points.
The pieces are made by Virginia Metalcrafters, circa 1946. The George Washington silhouette is engraved with his signature, his wife's one has no marks on the front. Both pieces are stamped at the back with the Virginia Metalcrafters hallmark "VMC" and the pattern numbers. That cannot be seen because the busts are mounted to hand made plaques in the shape of horseshoes that measure 7 1/4" x 6" at the widest and longest points.
The busts are part of the Presidential series issued by VMC.
Originally, the cast iron silhouettes have small loops at the top foreasy hanging but apparentlysome of the previous owners decided to upscale them.The busts are glued to canvas like fabric, the frame is wooden and metal rods with nuts and rivets are added at the top. The backs have small round felt pieces, cardboard and can tabs for hanging(one is missing).
The pieces come in well-preserved condition for their age. Some minor dings or paint flakes on the silhouette. The framing, the fabric and the other metal parts shows a little bit more wear but that is what give character and vintage appearance to the plaques.
The wall hangings will make a great addition to any collection or be the perfect decor for an antique or vintage room!
Feel free to ask for details or additional pictures.
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