Iconic Art Deco Industrial Design Skyscraper Scales on Auction in Glasgow

Posted in: Clocks, Scientific & Musical Instruments
Posted on: 21 June 2016
Iconic Art Deco Industrial Design Skyscraper Scales on Auction in Glasgow Joseph Sinel was a pioneer in what he termed “Industrial Design” and a man whose work became synonymous with the American image of the 1920s and 1930s. It may surprise some, then, that he was actually born in New Zealand and trained in Great Britain, only immigrating to the United States after WWI. From rugs to furniture, advertising to hearing aids, Sinel’s scope was wide-ranging and his designs varied. Perhaps though, the single piece he is still most well-known for, and the pinnacle of his artistic vision, was the iconic “Step On It” scales which feature in McTear’s July run of sales. The overall form derives from the most potent symbol of American modernity at this time - the skyscraper. In 1916, New York planning was altered to require that all buildings over a certain height were to be set back at the top to allow light and fresh air to reach pedestrians below. As a result of this, structures built around this time, such as the Chrysler Building, had a profound effect on New York's skyline. The silhouette of these scales features a tall shaft with a graduated stepped top. To further enhance the boldness of the design, Sinel used art deco typefaces on the façade with a bold "STEP / ON / IT” proclamation on the weighing platform.

McTear’s is very happy to offer not one, but two of these iconic pieces in our upcoming Clocks, Scientific & Musical Instruments sale on 21st July. Examples of these scales have appeared in many museum collections, publications and world famous buildings over the last one hundred years. The two we have on offer are the more deluxe version, with the machine turned stainless steel panels, and graphic "Step On It" foot plate. We hope to see you at the auction for your chance to see a true piece of history going under the hammer.

For further information or to consign to this, or any McTear's auction, please email auction@mctears.co.uk or telephone 0141 810 2880.

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