A charming mid 20th Century Art Deco gilt bronze car mascot in the form of a bumble bee, with fine detail. Raised on a marble base, signed G.Lachaise and stamped Desmo
Height: 14 cm
Width: 12 cm
Depth: 5 cm
Condition: Excellent Original Condition
Materials: Gilt Bronze
Gaston Lachaise (March 19, 1882 – October 18, 1935) was a French-born sculptor, active in the early 20th century. Gaston Lachaise was an extremely versatile sculptor, technically expert in several media and accomplished with both ideal and commercial effort. His work was chosen for several major New York architectural commissions – including the AT&T Building and Rockefeller Center. And the more commercial aspect of his sculptural output – the production of fountains and decorative bronzes, primarily depicting animals
Car Mascot - The first "hood ornament" was a sun-crested falcon (to bring good luck) mounted on Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun's chariot.
In the early years, automobiles had their radiator caps outside of the hood and on top of the grille which also served as an indicator of the temperature of the engine's coolant fluid. The Boyce MotoMeter Company was issued a patent in 1912 for a radiator cap that incorporated a thermometer that was visible to the driver with a sensor that measured the heat of the water vapor, rather than the water itself. This became a useful gauge for the driver because many early engines did not have water pumps, but a circulation system based on the "thermo-syphon" principle as in the Ford Model T.
The "exposed radiator cap became a focal point for automobile personalization."
Hood ornaments were popular in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, with many automakers fitting them to their vehicles. Moreover, a healthy business was created in the supply of accessory mascots available to anyone who wanted to add a hood ornament or car mascot to their automobile. Most companies like Desmo and Smith's are now out of business with only Louis Lejeune Ltd. in England surviving. Sculptors such as Bazin, Paillet, Sykes, Renevey, and Lejeune all created finely detailed sculptures in miniature.