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Walnut Tear Drop "Popcorn Still Life" Wall Plaques/ Illinois Moulding Co. & Belart Inc. Circa 1960

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    Posted 8 years ago

    mikelv85
    (1156 items)

    Picked up this pair of cool vintage wall plaques from GW yesterday. They appear to be either teak or walnut. They are 16" H x 11 1/2" W and about a 1/2" thick. The "still life" designs are painted in orange and white enamel and highlighted with a crushed stone plasticized accent. They look similar to the "gravel art" wall plaque craft kits you could buy in the 60's. My mom did a pair for our dining room. You'd outline the design in black cord and fill it with white glue. Then you'd sprinkle in the crushed colored glass or marble to fill in the design. Don't know what happened to them but these sure bring back memories. -Mike-

    NOTE: Found a picture of the two "fruit" still life plaques my mom did. They are called gravel art from Craft Master's Mosette line of plaques.

    Illinois Moulding Company and Belart Inc.
    Popcorn Still Life Wall Plaques:
    www.midcenturia.com/2011/02/popcorn-still-life-wall-plaques.html

    During the 60's the Illinois Moulding Company and Belart Inc. created these still life wall plaques, which were embellished with melted plastic chips, commonly referred to as "popcorn". I know these mass-produced decorative pieces are the furthest thing from fine art, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for them and whenever I come across one I have to look. They often came in sets of two or three and were commonly available with either orange or blue highlights.
    The Illinois Moulding Company of Chicago was founded by Hungarian immigrant Herman Molner (1866-1951) in 1896. Windsor Art Products was the art publishing division of the company, who under license, would mass-produce original artists' works making "fine" art affordable to all. Herman passed away in 1951, but the company continued until about 1970. Here is a link to a passage in a book about the Illinois Moulding Co.
    Belart Inc. was located in Mendota, Minnesota and was founded in 1962 by Harold Nielson, as a division of Foldcraft Co., a fast food restaurant seating manufacturer that still exists today. Belart went out of business around 1989 due to increased competition from the foreign market.

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    Comments

    1. Manikin Manikin, 8 years ago
      These are cool I can remember seeing these on walls ! Nice find . I have a whole unused kit to make a picture out of but yours on wood are extra sweet !
    2. mikelv85 mikelv85, 8 years ago
      Thanks Mani :)....They are sweet and in great condition too ! Just wish I knew the maker. -Mike-
    3. AmberRose AmberRose, 8 years ago
      I found one once of a Siamese cat...it was bad ass. Kits can be found on lone but are $$$. Plus I am so not crafty. What fun!
    4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 8 years ago
      Thanks Amber...I haven't seen these kits in years and years. Probably vintage NOS which is why they're so expensive.
    5. GoneNO, 6 years ago
      Still have our original mosaics of this same "fruit banquet" pair and that company's pair of male & female stylized ballet dancers, very cool in red/black/white/gold, handmade at home mid-late '60s. These fruit/cheese/wine pieces sit atop my kitchen cabinets today! But with illness expenses, may have to part with the four remaining works of lovely vintage art...

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