Sale

hard to find original early 20th century northwestern terra cotta company white glazed rearing lion advertising "salesman sample"

Regular Price: $1,500.00

Special Price $975.00

Availability: In Stock

UR #:: UR-27476-18

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Product Description

rare and intact early 20th century white glazed figural terra cotta freestanding rearing lion statue fabricated as an advertising piece by the northwestern terra cotta co., chicago. the design is attributed to the highly skilled fritz albert, who for several years was the head modeler at northwestern. the unique advertising piece dates to the 1920's. founded in chicago in 1878 by a group of investors including john r. true, the northwestern terra cotta company became a major producer of terra cotta ornament used by the construction industry. the studios draftsmen (including the highly skilled fritz albert) transformed architectural blueprints into comprehensive shop drawings that identified exactly where and how each puzzle-like piece would be secured to its supporting structure. by the early 1890's, when northwestern terra cotta employed approximately 500 men, annual sales approached $600,000. by 1910, its large (still extant) plant at clybourn and wrightwood avenues had about 1,000 workers. the popularity of placing terra cotta moldings on building facades peaked in the 1920's, and northwestern terra cotta led the way, in chicago and around the country. around this time, the company opened plants in st. louis and denver. beginning with louis sullivan earlier in the century, prominent chicago architects like frank lloyd wright had extensive contracts with the company. included among the many landmark chicago buildings for which northwestern supplied extensive decorative moldings were the civic opera house, the chicago theater, the wrigley building, and the randolph tower. northwestern's operations in chicago declined alongside the construction industry during great depression and never returned to their 1920's levels. in 1965, northwestern terra cotta co.'s only remaining plant, in denver, closed. measures 13 x 6 x 4 inches.