Gateway Object: Art Deco Handles

Three art deco coffin handles. top one is brass. middle is thick and a dark silver colour. the bottom is the longest and a lighter silver colour


These handles are sand cast. By the mid 1960s sand casting was considered less efficient and more time consuming than die-casting. As a result, Newman Brothers commissioned die-casting companies and hot stamping specialists to produce a range of their designs for them.


As a style, Art Deco retained the nature motifs of Art Nouveau, which preceded it, but replaced Art Nouveau’s organic shapes and pastel shades with bolder materials and stark colours, such as the chrome and black we see here. The movement began in Europe in the early 20th century and became after the First World War. It was still popular until around the time the Second World War broke out. Art Deco’s  distinguishing features are simple, clean shapes, often with a streamlined look.

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