Wall Sculptures

Mermaids Haitian Steel Drum Art by Vertus Romens Fer Découpé

Steel Drum Wall Art by Haitian Vertus Romens Fer Découpé of Mermaids

Item Name
Mermaids Wall Art
Price
$95.00
Condition
Vintage
Category
Art – Metal
Availability
In Stock 1
Item #
PYH – 4303
Description

Fer découpé (French for iron cut out) artwork is created from steel petrochemical drums that are cleaned and pounded flat. After drawing the designs on the metal, the bòsmetal (bosses of the metal/metal sculptors) cut them out with hammers and chisels, punch tools and nails, with no welding done. Vertus Romens, the sculptor of this intricate work, grew up in the Noialles district of Croix-des-Bouquets, a village outside the capital of Port-au-Prince where this craft originated. Poverty inspired the salvage of materials for art; the use of steel drums was pioneered starting in the 1950’s. Romens learned to sculpt at an early age and became a prominent metal craftsman.

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The sirene, or mermaid, is one of the spirits of Haitian vodou; she represents beauty and wealth. One of the mermaids in this work is playing a saxophone; the sax is used in several types of Haitian music, such as Compas. Both of the mermaids have shimmering scales, are wearing bikinis and are accompanied by a large fish; they are standing on a base of waves and sea grasses, with a flower extending up between them. Vertus Romens signed this piece by incising his name into the metal on the lower right front (photo #4 shows a close-up).

This beautiful wall sculpture measures 17 inches high, 10 inches wide and weighs 1 1/2 pounds. The sculptor finishes his pieces with a coat of lacquer, so they can be hung indoors or out; a quick spray of clear enamel or lacquer once a year will keep it in shape if you choose to use it outdoors and don’t like the rusty, weathered look. It’s easily hung with nails at one or more of the points where there are spaces between the designs. This is a highly detailed, interesting work that is a tribute to the artist’s talent for this art. It is not a perfunctory piece turned out for the tourist trade, but a one of a kind, true expression of Haitian culture.

Note: In the November 2011 issue of “Magic Haiti” Magazine there was a 2 page spread on Vertus Romens (although he was identified as Romens Vertus throughout the article). It’s entitled “When Oil Drums Become Works of Art” and you can see it here:
https://issuu.com/clarens/docs/magic_haiti_3_-_lite_version

© Linda Henrich

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Art Deco Women by Achatit Werkstätten West German Wall Masks

Wall Masks West German Pair Deco Women Achatit Werkstätten

Item Name
Wall Mask Pair of Women
Price
$110.00 USD
Condition
Vintage
Category
HomeDecor -Wall Masks
Availability
In Stock 1 Pair
Item #
PYH – 4256
Description

This dramatic Deco pair of wandmaskes {wall masks} comes from the workshops of the German company Achatit Werkstätten, which was founded in 1948 by Hans Schirmer and the sculptor Peter Ludwig, who designed these fantastic wall masks. They trademarked a new material, one made by boiling fine powdered stone with sawdust and a binding agent, which was then poured into a mold. After they cooled, the sculptures were painted and/or gilded, then polished with agate stones. The word agate is “achat” in German, which is how both the material and the company got their names. The process produced a non-ceramic material that is often mistaken for ceramic.

Both of these wall sculptures are 10 inches tall and project about 3 1/2 inches out from the wall. The lady on the left in photograph #1 measures 6 inches at its widest, while the one on the right is 7 1/2 inches at its widest. The right hand one has two gold foil labels on the back; one label has the company name and a drawing of a sculptured head, while the other label reads HANDARBEIT {handwork/handmade}, MADE IN GERMANY HANDIWORK. Both were made in the 1950’s {later ones use the copyright symbol or the word copyright}. Although they are marked ‘made in Germany,’ they were actually made in West Germany, in the city of Cologne {Köln in German}, which was located in West Germany during the decades that Germany was divided.

These beautiful wall masks are in fantastic condition, with no chips, cracks or discernible wear to the paint or finish. Perfect for that spot where a painting or print just won’t do. More Details…

PYH 4256