PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COLLECTION
Randell L. Makinson and Thomas A. Heinz, Greene & Greene: The Blacker House, Salt Lake City, 2000, p. 68
William R. Current, Greene & Greene: Architects in the Residential Style, Fort Worth, 1974, p. 98 (for a related pair of andirons in the Gamble House)
Edward R. Bosley, Gamble House: Greene and Greene, London, 1992, fig. 58 (for a related pair of andirons in the Gamble House)
Edward R. Bosley, Greene & Greene, London, 2000, p. 111 (for the fireplace in bedroom no. 4 of the Blacker House)
These andirons were part of the original furnishings of "Bedroom No. 4" of the Blacker House, a second-floor guest room with an adjacent sleeping porch. The Greenes' design program for the fireplace in this room featured a large decorative surround of flowering vines articulated in earth-toned Rookwood and Grueby tiles. A hand-wrought copper hood was chased with a dramatic motif of billowing cloud-like smoke. The central standards of these andirons are ornamented with a raised abstract cloud-motif which echoes the chased decoration on the hood. This motif is sensitively rendered in the design drawing for the andirons shown here, and was likely inspired from Japanese sources. The supports flanking the central standards of the andirons appear to be a modified tsuba shape derived from traditional Asian sword guards.
Three additional pairs of andirons are presently known which share the same overall form, but exhibit different ornament. These include a pair of andirons executed for the Blacker master bedroom, which are cast with an ornate composition of naturalistic plants and vines (sold Sotheby's New York, June 8, 2005, lot 138); a pair executed for the master bedroom of the David B. Gamble House, which are cast with an abstract linear composition; and an undecorated pair with a plain mottled surface executed for Charles Sumner Greene's own residence (sold Sotheby's New York, December 17, 2004, lot 332).
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