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Amazing Arts & Crafts Art Nouveau Hand Hammered Brass Box/Humidor Featuring Cats & Mice!

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Art Nouveau Metalwork38 of 55Small aventurine dimpled vase with base metal collarArt Nouveau period lady looking into mirror large key/pin tray 15" X 9"
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    Posted 5 years ago

    Hyp-storian
    (40 items)

    Antique Arts & Crafts/Art Nouveau hand hammered brass Advertising box or humidor by a highly talented anonymous artist. Marked on the top "The Simplex Steel Conduit Co., Ltd." in typical art nouveau lettering, this beautiful hand made piece features wonderfully executed quirky looking cats and mice!
    All 4 mice are clearly different, and all (11) cats are similar but slightly different too.
    Condition is very fine with its original patina. Size = 8 inches long x 5" inches wide x 2" inches high, and it's quite heavy (brass or maybe even bronze?).
    Not sure if this was meant as an "all purpose" box for jewelry, or nick nacks, or even playing cards, but the fact that it has a cedar wood lining makes me think that it might have been designed as a humidor...

    If anyone can enlighten me regarding the amazing anonymous artist please share your thoughts?

    Thanks for looking!

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    Comments

    1. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      What an extraordinary and stunning box.
    2. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 5 years ago
      That's just fabulous!
    3. melaniej melaniej, 5 years ago
      http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Simplex_Conduits

      I would print info from the above link and put in this AWESOME advertisement box!
    4. Hyp-storian, 5 years ago
      Thank you kindly for your comments folks- much appreciated...!
    5. ArtsCraftsfan, 5 years ago
      Hi - Lovely box. I think the clue is the name of the company on the front. There is a possibility that this box was made by Simplex Steel Conduit Co Ltd. Around 1910, Thomas Birkett went to work at this company. He was a key figure in the Birmingham Arts and Crafts scene. He was originally a member of the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft and he went on to work with Faulkner Bronze and Jesson, Birkett & Co. He also worked closely with A E Jones Ltd. I suspect that this design was one that Thomas took with him to Simplex Steel. There were probably a few designers that could be responsible for this box. A key designer was Anne G Stubbs who eventually married Thomas. She designed some lovely pieces for Jesson, Birkett & Co. I hope this helps... gives you a few leads.
    6. Hyp-storian, 5 years ago
      ArtsCraftsfan,

      Thank you so much for that info- it is much appreciated!
    7. carolinemarie, 1 year ago
      I have a box like this without the legend. There are several about. On the bottom of mine is scratched Denise Aindow and the number 1. I did not find anything on google, so it may be the owner of the box not the maker whos name is written. I will try to find the name of the shop I bought it from, they will know who made it. The box is stamped out, not repousse. Thank you for your post on this lovely kitty/mousey box.

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