Lot 208
  • 208

Charles Rohlfs

40,000 - 60,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Charles Rohlfs
  • Coal Hod
  • carved with the maker's "sign of the saw" cypher and dated 1900
  • oak, wrought iron


Private Collection, Buffalo, New York, circa 1940
Thence by descent to the present owner


Will M. Clemens, "A New Art and a New Artist," The Puritan, August 1900, p. 586
Joseph Cunningham, The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs, New Haven, CT, 2008, p. 89 (for a period photograph in the collection of The Winterthur Library showing a related model, photograph gift of Lisa Ortman) and p. 90 (for a variant model in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum, gift of Max Palevsky and Jodie Evans)

Catalogue Note

Charles Rohlfs' ability to impart utilitarian objects with exquisite, refined, and intellectual decoration was unparalleled by his contemporaries, and firmly placed him within an artistic category all his own.  His coal hod, or coal box, design exemplifies this talent, combining function and form through his own distinctive artistic vocabulary characterized by a highly architectural structure and conventionalized organic decorative motifs. Rohlfs produced a limited variety of this model with carved details of varying complexity.  An early example executed in 1900, the comparatively subdued carving decorations on the present coal hod are a precursor to the more elaborate carvings that Rohlfs would incorporate into his later examples of the design.  The original owner of this lot hailed from Buffalo, New York, where Rohlfs had his workshop, and it has remained in the same family since the second quarter of the twentieth century.