DescriptionNORMAN BEL GEDDES (American, 1893-1958)
A Fifteen-Piece "Manhattan" Chrome Plated Brass Cocktail Set, manufactured by Revere Copper and Brass Co., circa 1937
Marks: Revere / ROME / N.Y., excluding three cups
13 inches (33.0 cm) high, shaker
4-1/2 inches (11.4 cm) high, each cup
14-5/8 inches (37.1 cm) long, tray
Comprising a cocktail shaker, eight cocktail cups, four candle holders, a bottle opener, and a tray
After studying art at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, Norman Bel Geddes started out working as a set designer in Los Angeles. From 1918 Norman Bel Geddes designed sets for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1925 he returned to Los Angeles and worked in Hollywood. Contact with the architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Erich Mendelsohn induced Norman Bel Geddes to turn to architecture and design. Norman Bel Geddes belonged, along with Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, and Walter Dorwin Teague, to the first generation of American industrial designers, who designed railroad trains, buses, cars, aircraft, and machinery. Further, they used the aerodynamic streamlined form as an aesthetic device, applying it to machinery, smaller appliances, lamps, and furnishings.
The chrome-plated Manhattan Cocktail Set by Norman Bel Geddes reflects not only the high-rise architecture, but also the high-style materials in vogue during this period: chrome, glass and lacquer.
For similar examples of the shaker, cocktail cups, and tray, see accession no. 1998.537.11ab-.18 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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