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Art Nouveau humidor by Joseph Heinrichs, 1904

Joseph Heinrichs, New York (b. 1866)

A truly massive, ornate American silver and copper mounted polished hardwood Art Nouveau humidor, the hand riveted, intertwined pierced mounts featuring a motif of thistles and leaves, the lid with a central copper cartouche with ornate monogram of ‘HHR’ and engraved January 29, 1904. To each end is a hinged drop handle with lightly hammered copper back plate, and the humidor rests on four silvered-bronze bun feet. The capacious interior has been fully lined with kiln-dried cedar wood and has two fixed dividers, for perfect cigar storage. American, circa 1904.

Length: 21 inches (53 cm)
Depth: 13 inches (33 cm)
Height: 8½ inches (22 cm).

The monogram and inscribed date of this piece suggest it was the property of American financier and industrialist Henry Huttlestone Rogers ‘HHR’, (January 29, 1840 – May 19, 1909) and was commissioned as a gift for him for his 64th birthday in 1904. Huttlestone, a descendant of Mayflower pilgrims, made his fortune in the oil and gas refinery business and became Director of US Steel in 1901, but was also a prominent philanthropist, and supporter of writers such as Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington.

Affectionately known as ‘Hell Hound’, Rogers was a pioneer of race relations improvement and supported the betterment of African Americans through education. At his death in 1909, Rogers was worth over $41M, and had a 200’ steam yacht ‘Kanawha’, one of the country's largest and fastest private yachts. In 1901, The New York Times, (always eager to compare the toys of America's rich and famous), had described the ‘Kanawha’ as ‘easily the superior of J. Pierpont Morgan's noted ‘Corsair’.

Price Code: £££££

Reference: 6447

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