cf. J. Kahr, Edgar Brandt: Master of Art Deco Ironwork, New York, 2010, pp. 145-149 for other display trees designed for the Cheney Brothers showroom.
In 1924, the well-known silk manufacturers Cheney Brothers in New York offered Edgar Brandt his most prestigious American commission, the design of the first three floors of the silk company's new New York headquarters at the Madison Belmont Building (Madison Avenue and 34th Street) and its showrooms. The large commission included numerous exterior elements: wrought-iron and gilded bronze entrance doors, window framing and grills, as well as interior gates, mirrors and display mounts. All of Brandt's ironwork for this project was fabricated in France at his Boulevard Murat atelier and shipped to New York.
Prior to this commission, the Cheney company's artistic director, Henry Creange, who knew of Brandt's work from his trips to Paris, had hired the consummate artist-blacksmith to design a showroom to display a new fabric line "Prints Ferronnerie," themselves inspired by Brandt's designs. The immense success of this showroom, which featured a Brandt iron entrance door draped with silks as well as several Brandt fire screens and gates also serving as display stands, resulted in his commission for the new headquarters.
Brandt drew upon the aesthetic of that 1924 triumph to design the showrooms at the Madison Belmont building. In addition to grills for the display of fabrics, he created fanciful wrought-iron trees, such as the one offered here, as an innovative vehicle to be adorned with Cheney Brothers' silks. In this arboretum, no two trees were the same; one had a fan and peapod motif; another had arms with succulent-like leaves. This unique tree offered here has elegant flat arms that curl into tendrils and tall leaves, perfect for the draping of fabrics.