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Dickens Ware "Apostle" Vase

circa 1900

Charles B. Upjohn (American, 1880 - 1953)

One of the most popular lines of furniture produced by the New York City firm of Kimbel and Cabus was in the Modern Gothic style, which was introduced at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. This desk appeared in “American Architect and Building News” (Feb. 24, 1877) in an illustration of a Kimbel and Cabus interior. In harmony with the ideals of the English Arts and Crafts movement, the methods of construction are apparent in the legs and trestle feet. Incised floral and geometric designs complement the rectilinear form and provide a restrained surface decoration. The exuberant strapwork hinges create a major surface pattern on both the upper and lower sections and heighten the desk’s Gothic aesthetic.

The late 19th century taste for the medieval era was not confined to furniture design. Weller Pottery capitalized on its popularity by creating an entire line of “Dickens Ware,” which featured Gothic style patterns and subject matter, such as the Apostle Vase seen here. Charles Babcock Upjohn, the designer of this vase, has clearly looked to medieval statuary and stained glass for inspiration for the simplified, stylized form of the figure of St. John the Evangelist that adorns its surface.

Place object was created: Zanesville, OH


Measurements:    height: 12 inches

Daisy Wade Bridges Collection 1987.5.2

Currently on view at Mint Museum UPTOWN