Joseph Heinrichs Silver Plate Hammered Arts & Crafts Candlesticks, New York City, c. 1910 - set of 4
Examples of Joseph Heinrichs work are very rare no matter what the medium. He is best known for his exceptional copper pieces inspired by the American West. Usually, these pieces incorporate applied silver mounts and sometimes include applied horn, bone and arrowheads attached with silver thread resembling Native American sewing with withes. These four candlesticks are a bold design of irregular hammering. This strong design on typically shaped candlesticks gives them a striking appearance. The only surface not hammered is the interior of the attached bobeche.
The base has a half-inch high foot with hand chased hash-marks going around the top. The section above this is slightly domed and attached to the column.
Considering the exceptional quality of his 'artistic' copper and silver wares, very little is known today about Joseph Heinrichs. He was born to Johann Michael and Gurtrud Heinrichs in Vital, Adendorf, Rhineland, Prussia, on the 23rd of February, 1866. Arriving from Germany on the 10th of May, 1895, he was naturalized as a US citizen on July 1, 1902. Those records indicate he was a silversmith and lived at 134 West 22nd St. (1)
Heinrichs' shop was located in the fashionable section of Manhattan across from the Flatiron Building at 948 Broadway in a building known as Madison Square Hall. The hall included space open to events such as political meetings, sporting events (billiards), and art exhibitions. The American Art Association/ American Art Galleries (later to become Anderson Galleries which was subsequently subsumed by Parke Bernet and later bought out by Sotheby's) had office space, galleries and auctions at 6 Madison Square South and around the corner at 940-948 (Madison Sq. Hall) and 950-958 Broadway. (2)
This rare set of four candlesticks is marked underneath 'JOS. HEINRICHS/ PARIS + NEW YORK/ NICKEL SILVER. They measure 4.25 inches wide around the base by 10 inches tall and are in excellent antique condition.
1. Conversation with D. Albert Soeffing, July 9, 2013. Don believes this information supersedes that published in Silver in America in 1994.
2. American Art Galleries/ American Art Association address at the time was 6 East 23rd Street (Madison Park South) and during parts of this period leased parts of 940-948 Broadway and owned 950-958 Broadway. See The New York Supplement, Volume 141, Permanent Edition, (New York City: West Publishing Co., 1913), pp. 353-54.