Author: Cynthia Trope

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Right-facing American flag consisting of 48 blue paste “stars,” in upper left; alternating red and white “stripes” (22 red glass paste “rubies” and 22 transparent glass paste “diamonds”) unfurled on a gilded metal flag pole with two free-swinging tassels suspended from fine link chains at the top; the tassels fringes hinged at the neck, allowing for movement.
Grand Old Flag
Patriotic jewelry is a term for works that are inspired by national symbols like flags or their colors. In the United Sates, the American flag, “Old Glory,” along with the American eagle and Uncle Sam, have been among the most popular motifs. While patriotic jewelry in both precious and non-precious materials has been around at least...
2012-18-1
Fun Chair
Resembling a child’s toy more than a piece of furniture, the whimsical form of the Spun Chair, designed by Thomas Heatherwick and his team, Heatherwick Studio, came about in answer to the question, ‘Can a rotationally symmetrical form make a comfortable chair?’ Heatherwick and his colleagues were initially inspired by the traditional manufacturing process of...
Circular form; smooth blue case surrounding metal band with Arabic numerals encircling white face with black hands; metal stem at top. At center: "WESTCLOX".
“An Essential Accessory”
This handbag watch, introduced in 1933 by the Westclox division of the General Time Instruments Corporation, offered the busy modern woman a portable, fashionable and discreet way to manage her time. [1] An alternative to wearing a wristwatch and about the size of a man’s pocket watch, this timepiece was large enough to be easily found...
Raised disc-shaped metallic-toned plastic body, the center pierced by six columns of small squares (speaker) above square black number and function keys.
Squaring The Circle
When Coherent Communications System Corporation decided to create this conference phone their goal was to accommodate the needs of conference calls by incorporating all the necessary telephone elements and electronics into a single, sophisticated speaker/microphone housing. For ease of use and efficiency, the engineers wanted to position the speaker in such a way that the...
Two earclips and a brooch, each in the form of an oak leaf with a gold stem and veining, filled with deep green and dark red plique-à-jour enamel. Earclips have plastic ear cushions. Attached to each piece by a green cord is a circular stamped lead seal with mark.
Early Autumn Leaves
An early September drive into New Hampshire took me out of my routine, away from my desk, and encouraged me to slow down and catch the transition from summer to autumn, something I’ve missed in recent years. The warm and intense autumn colors of New England foliage were a special treat, and come to mind as I study,...
Cylindrical, fluted metal body, horizontal ridges at top; tapering, flat-topped, cylindrical metal cup inverted over bottle mouth to serve as cap; cap unscrews and lifts off to reveal small cylindrical rubber stopper, with circular metal top and hinged toggle latch, set snugly into circular mouth of interior glass vacuum bottle.
One for the Road
Near the end of the nineteenth century, Scottish scientist Sir James Dewar developed glass vacuum bottle technology for his work with liquid gases. The bottle had a function applicable to daily life as well–keeping beverages fresh, meeting a basic need as more people joined the work force, taking meals to their jobs.  More people were...
Aluminum and steel streamlined meat slicer with rounded knobs.
A Slice of Design from the Local Deli
Designed more than 70 years ago, the Model 410 meat slicer, also known as the Streamliner, is not just a utilitarian object for the food service industry. It is also a wonderful example of streamlining, a style of Modernism that combines principles of aerodynamic engineering with geometry, often characterized by smooth rhythmic surfaces and forms...
Body of roughly hour glass form; pink-glazed ground covered with tiny gilded irregular circles; large, white loop handle on one side; tall, tapering, everted white spout opposite; circular, slighlty domed pink-glazed and gilded lid with white triangular loop handle in center.
A Collaboration for a New Century
Industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s career spanned six decades, from about 1920 to 1986, during which he was active in Europe and the United States, with offices in Paris, London, New York, and Chicago. By 1951, he directed a design staff of over one hundred and forty. Loewy and his firm are noted for their prodigious...
Egg Cup, Gourmet, designed 1958
Elegant Egg Cups
Kristian Vedel is primarily known as a furniture designer, trained by the Danish architect-designer Kaare Klint and strongly influenced by Klint's standards of economy, function and simplicity. Vedel established his own studio in 1955. These stacking egg cups are one of his early innovative designs, part of the Gourmet line of plastic tableware from about 1958....