This is a masterful example of Goberg's handmade iron work. It is an extremely rare three-dimensional giraffe cigar cutter and matchbox holder. It probably once stood in a hotel lobby or upscale men's club. The piece stands 9 5/8 inches tall, is 5 inches wide at the base, and is 8 3/8 inches long, again at the base. While most of Goberg’s hammered iron animals are two-dimensional, this piece is three-dimensional having a full body. The head and neck of the giraffe swing downward to snip the end of a cigar that is inserted into a hole by the front leg. On the rear end of the giraffe the tail lifts so that the snipped off end of the cigar can fall out. Typical of Goberg's work this piece shows the hand hammered design, structural elements, and texture for which he is so well known.
The piece is in excellent condition. It has a dark semi-gloss metallic surface that has been carefully oxidized to create a wonderful patina. In addition to the iron work, there are several spots of brass work located on a collar around the giraffe’s neck, on the two cigarette holders on the base, and on the stand that holds up the matchbox holder. The brass work also has a wonderful patina. There is no significant rust anywhere. There are a small number of dings, bends, and scratches. The rear legs have a very slight crook to them that is hardly noticeable. There is one photo that attempts to show the crook. On the underside of the base it is signed “Goberg” along with “Ges. Gesch.”. The metalwork is solid, the workmanship excellent, and look is terrific. This piece will look wonderful in any classic arts and crafts setting including a piece of Molesworth or Stickley furniture. It is a highly unusual item that will be the crowning touch to anybody’s collection of Arts and Crafts metalwork.
Known primarily for his hammered iron pieces, Goberg (Hugo Berger) is best known for his wide-ranging variety of candlesticks and candelabras. Besides being considered a metal fabricator of the Arts & Crafts era, Goberg is also closely associated with the German Jugendstil or Secessionist movement of the same time frame. Much of his work was sold through Liberty’s of London.
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