Sotheby's is grateful for the assistance of Joan Kahr in authenticating and cataloguing this lot.
From the Catalogue:
Distinguished by their dynamic composition and remarkable sculptural presence, this rare pair of andirons was likely created by Edgar Brandt in the context of the 1931 Exposition Coloniale in Paris. The exhibition was organized by Maréchal Lyautey, Brandt’s friend from the First World War, to showcase the diverse cultures and resources of France's colonies. Each andiron displays a figure fending off a swarm of seven snakes, playing to the European curiosity about wild, exotic lands, and making reference to the very origin of humanity with the biblical number seven.
—Courtesy of Sotheby's
Signature: one andiron stamped E.BRANDT, the other stamped FRANCE/E.BRANDT and E.BRANDT, crossbar stamped E.BRANDT/FRANCE and E.BRANDT
Joan Kahr, Edgar Brandt: Art Deco Ironwork, Atglen, PA, 2010, pp. 135 (for snakes andirons with a similar crossbar), 190-191 (for a related wrought-iron snake motif)
Private American Collection, acquired circa 1950
Thence by descent to the present owner