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Art Deco Dura Photo Frames

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Posted 6 years ago


(81 items)

Here is a trio of very rare Machine Age photo frames made by The Dura Company of Toledo, Ohio. These picture frames were part of a giftware line that Dura did during the 1930's, and they look amazing when displayed with period, movie star photos. Industrial designer Helen Dryden was the art director of the company at one point in time. More information about The Dura Company can be found on my friend and neighbor's website here:

The bases of the frames are made of bakelite, and the bases of both the circular frame and larger frame with the teardrop base have a streamline design. Both the circular frame and tear drop frame were designed by Kurt Rettich (patents in the photos) circa 1933. He designed a number of items which the Dura company produced. The frame on the right is super rare (this is the only one I've ever seen), and its metal and bakelite base has more of an Egyptian Revival or sunrise deco motif to it.

I've seen the bases in the teardrop and circular frames in black, green, and red bakelite, but black appears to be the most common. The square teardrop frames come in four sizes: 5"x7", 6"x8", 7"x9", and 8"x10". According to a Dura catalog ad from the time, the metal parts of the frames are made out of a "silver alloy" metal which is similar to chrome.


  1. mat boards, 6 years ago
    The idea is great! Photo frames in different shape looks good it goes well with old photos.
  2. curtchicago, 5 years ago
    I have the one on the left in red plastic. I was actually looking up some Dura art deco chrome characters - elephant; pelican; owl. Two are mounted on that same deco green base - like a bottlecap. The elephant is on a 1" green sphere with a triangular chrome base. I'll look at your friends site.
  3. curtchicago, 5 years ago
    Yes, it was all there. Thank you!
  4. SEAN68 SEAN68, 3 years ago

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