Light Scrolls Bellows
Brown bellows decorated with leaves and berries.
A bellows is a device that is used to blow air by squeezing the two handles together. A hearth bellows is used to supply a fire with more air to keep the flame burning.
This hearth bellows was made as part of a set with a matching hearth brush that would have been decorated with the same scrollwork deisgn.
In keeping with the Arts and Crafts ideal of making ordinary household items that were both useful and beautiful, Eleanor Vance designed at least four different sizes of walnut fireplace bellows and matching hearth brushes to be made by Biltmore Estate Industries and Biltmore Industries. Each featured a deeply carved motif such as oak, dogwood, or grapes leaves; classical scrollwork; a golliwog face; or a monogram of the buyer’s initials. The functional bellows were described in their catalogue as having “dull tan leather and brass nozzle.” These non-wooden elements would have been purchased from another firm. At a time when fireplaces could be found in nearly every home, the bellows and hearth brushes proved popular with Asheville residents and tourists.
Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Bruce Johnson
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