When one thinks of HERTER, one instinctively thinks of elegant wood furniture. Yet Christian Herter’s talents were expansive and covering every aspect of Interior Design.
In what was perhaps Herter’s most elegant lighting fixture, the Sunflower Lantern was selected for the main entrance to the El Mirasol Herter family estate by his wife Mary Herter, and their son, the respected artist Albert Herter. This solid bronze lantern hung at the Herter family estate in Sanata Barbara, California from 1908 until 1969.
Entering the main Herter mansion, Christian Herter’s ‘Sunflower Lantern’ greeted the famous Herter guests.
‘Elegance and an ornate richness in design, the Christian Herter bronze Sunflower Lantern is a powerful piece of art. It is bold and perfectly proportioned in both scale and elegance, a true Herter masterwork’.
Many Herter Brothers masterworks have often incorporated ‘a distinctive Japanesque theme and extraordinary Sunflower inlays’.
Christian Herter selected the “Sunflower Motif” in much of his work including his crafted Herter Brothers furniture, wallpaper and lighting fixture designs.
Standing over six foot tall, this ornate solid bronze lighting fixture was perhaps Herter’s finest -and surely the most elegant, combining Japanesque themes with the Herter’s sunflower motif.
Christian Herter designed a Japanese three-claw “Tatsu” Royal Dragon as the guardian of the Lantern’s inner light. Mystically, the ‘Japanese Royal Dragon had ability to change sizes at will, and protect the home from all harm’.
With great craftmanship, all of Herter’s bronze elements are uniquely connected from within by “bronze screws” and an innovative fastening design. It wasn’t until after 1850 that permitted the ‘tooling of bronze screws’.
The upper portion features the Herter ‘sunflower cluster’ design, surrounded by six bronze modern Asian elephants. Uniquely hinged bronze chain links hang from the elephant tusks to the lower section, and rests upon six Asian water-buffalo.
This Herter lantern is truly museum quality artwork of exceptional quality. The Sunflower cluster motif is repeated in various sizes on each of the bronze panels. Ornate scrolls appear between the bronze panels.
The lower section features six bronze ‘Tatsu’ Royal Dragons, and six bronze water buffalos.
The Herter Sunflower motif blends well, combining unique American and Asian design themes, a truly American Decorative Arts classic as only Christian Herter could accomplish.
Herter’s use of the ‘mystical’ Japanese dragons, the ‘modern’ Asian elephants, the ‘traditional’ Japanese-Chinese-style clouds’ blends well with the Herter ‘Sunflower motif’, producing an harmonious work of art.
Christian Herter’s Sunflower Lantern has a well-aged bronze patina of over one hundred and thirty years. One of it’s bronze main sunflower panels is ‘hinged’ and opens to access the inner light.
Standing over six foot tall and weighing approximately ninety pounds, this bronze Sunflower Lantern is ‘bold and perfectly proportioned in both scale and elegance, a true Herter masterwork’.
“The Sunflower lantern is an archetype to the style that Christian Herter was to develop”.