Viktor Schreckengost’s Estate Sale

June 27, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Hundreds of people showed up within the first couple hours of the estate sale for industrial designer and artist Viktor Schreckengost on Friday, the first day of the three day sale, at his Stillman Road home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. When I arrived in the first hour, there was a mob of people waiting outside and I was instructed to get number. I got number 153, and they had just called 74, so it turned out I had a couple hour wait ahead of me!

viktor-schreckengost-house-front

Viktor Schreckengost’s house and estate sale in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, June 24, 2016.

Once inside, the house was full from basement to attic of personal household items of the Schreckengosts, Viktor and his wife Gene. It was an incredible feeling just to be in his house, and on the grounds. I left with a few small items that I thought were interesting, and learned by someone at the sale and a member of a Viktor Schreckengost Facebook group that he most likely designed a couple of them.

viktor-schreckengost-creamer

Creamer designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

One item being a plain coffee cup and creamer he designed for Salem pottery with no design. The other being his popular Christmas pattern showing a decorated tree with gifts under it. A pedal car and pedal plane ornaments made good additions to my holiday decorations. I thought a partial metal sign with his initials, V.S., may have been from a childhood toy. Miniature solid colored dishes that he designed but had produced to give as holiday gifts, and I bought five to have. A few small plates were most likely salad plate designs by Vik.

viktor-schreckengost-mini-dishes

Miniature dishes designed for production by Viktor Schreckengost.

There was a room in the house where Viktor had hundreds of seashells and rocks, separated in different boxes, containers and cans. A few of the shell collections were in old cigarette boxes, Marlboro and Viceroy. I thought this was a clever way organize them, using boxes and containers from around the house!

 

viktor-schreckengost-viceroy-shells

Sea shells stored in an empty cigarette box belonging to Viktor Schreckengost.

It was a well-organized and fun event (by Mitchell Attenson Estate Sales), to see what purchases others were walking out with, like a globe, candlesticks, and plate designed by Viktor, a steel yard stick, a teapot, and even a Pantone book!

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.

 

viktor-schreckengost-house-front-sign

Viktor Schreckengost estate sale, June 2016.

viktor-schreckengost-ashtray

Christmas ashtray with artwork designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-cup

Cup designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-plates

Salad plates designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-sign

Metal sign piece with Viktor Schreckengost’s initials.

viktor-schreckengost-ornaments

Pedal car Christmas ornaments designed after actual pedal cars by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-pedal-cars

Pedal car and plane (reproductions) designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-shells

Shells, rocks and organic objects in boxes and containers in the attic of Viktor Schreckengost.

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Painted poster in the home of Viktor Schreckengost.

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Books belonging to Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-collectibles

Travel souvenirs and miscellaneous art and objects in the home of Viktor Schreckengost.

 

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Schmitz-Horning Co. Catalogs, Lithos Digitized at Cleveland Public Library and CleDPL

August 15, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

CleDPL library assistant Ray Rozman scans an original Schmitz-Horning Co. wall mural design.

CleDPL library assistant Ray Rozman scans an original Schmitz-Horning Co. wall mural design.

In going through the family house a few years ago, I discovered catalogs and samples from my great-grandfather’s former Cleveland-based business, the Schmitz-Horning Company. Since then, I have been researching and learning about the company, and our family’s role in the company.

The Schmitz-Horning Company, which specialized in high quality washable color wallpaper, artistic murals and scenic panoramic wall coverings, was founded around 1905 by Hugo M. Schmitz I, an artist and my great-grandfather, and William (Bill) Horning, a lithographer. Mr. Horning left the partnership around 1920. My grandfather (Hugo’s son), Warren R. Schmitz, acted as vice president of the company starting in the late 1920s. After the tragic automobile-related death of Hugo Schmitz in 1938, Warren Schmitz served as president of the company.

Through Google, Cleveland’s newspaper The Plain Dealer archives through the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s website, and family materials, I have started my journey of piecing together a historical footprint of the company and some of the people that worked at the company.

CPL Map/GIS librarian Tom Edwards scans a Schmitz-Horning scenic wallpaper design.

CPL Map/GIS librarian Tom Edwards scans a Schmitz-Horning scenic wallpaper design.

Recently, I discovered the public resources available at Cleveland Public Library in downtown Cleveland. Over several trips there, I visited the Cleveland Digital Public Library (CleDPL) (under the direction of Chatham Ewing, Digital Library Strategist), at 325 Superior Avenue, 3rd floor, the map department and the history department at 525 Superior Avenue, 6th floor, the business department on the 2nd floor, and the photograph collection on the 4th floor, and as a patron received assistance in researching and in documentation of our family’s materials.

Additionally, I was made aware of the Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery, the library’s public online digital gallery.

Panoramic Friezes catalog, 1909-1910, the Schmitz-Horning Company, Cleveland, Ohio.

Panoramic Friezes catalog, 1909-1910, the Schmitz-Horning Company, Cleveland, Ohio.

A dedicated library staff assisted and enabled me to do extensive high resolution and large-scale scanning of our deteriorating Schmitz-Horning original wallpaper designs and mural lithographs, and multiple company catalogs, with an early one dating back to 1909, and most being the only known catalogs in existence. The Cleveland Digital Public Library, a new department since spring of this year, accommodated me for many hours spread over several weeks by assisting me with scans on an i2s SupraScan Quartz overhead scanner, synced to a pc, with size capabilities up to 33″ x 46″. They suggested methods regarding the preservation and storing of the materials. Other equipment available included an Epson Expression 10000 XL for photographs, and several book scanners, one high-speed ATIZ scanner, and one a versatile and user-friendly Knowledge Imaging Center (KIC) scanner. The map department had a large-scale feed-through type scanner (plus printer), a Hewlett Packer Designjet T1200 HD MFP, which scans up to 41″ wide by any length, which enabled me to scan one-of-a-kind lithographic wallpaper rolls, some over 100 inches long.

A selection of the materials scanned will be available on the Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery, making documentation on this historic Cleveland business available to the public. Individuals researching companies in the wallpaper industry may also find it useful.

Other Schmitz-Horning blog posts by Janet Dodrill:

Schmitz-Horning Co. Artists Created Impressive Lithographic Murals and Scenic Wallpaper

Google Cultural Institute

Schmitz-Horning Co. Ming Floral Scenic Wallpaper Pattern

Schmitz-Horning Company Created Wallpaper Murals and Art

Articles about Cleveland Digital Public Library:

Cleveland Digital Public Library Will Offer High-Tech Scanning For The Masses

Ohio: Grand Opening of Cleveland Digital Public Library (ClevDPL) Taking Place Today

Ohio Public Libraries Receive Grant Funding To Create Network Of Coordinated Digitization Hubs

Curtis Flowers scans a Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph on CleDPL's large overhead scanner.

Curtis Flowers scans a Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph on CleDPL’s large overhead scanner.

The Cleveland Digital Public Library (CleDPL) department of Cleveland Public Library

The Cleveland Digital Public Library (CleDPL) department of Cleveland Public Library.

Book Scanner at Cleveland Digital Public Library

Book Scanner at Cleveland Digital Public Library.

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.


Google Cultural Institute

April 29, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Co. Sierras wall mural

Sierras (1913-14) by the Schmitz-Horning Co., Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Have you been to the Google Cultural Institute? The Google Art Project section is a diverse collection of art, and there are Historic Moments and World Wonders sections to explore too. The art is searchable by collections, artists, artworks, and user galleries.

In my search on information regarding my great-grandfather’s wallpaper and mural business, the Schmitz-Horning Co., I found four of the company’s mural art samples in Google’s Art Project, which are in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum at the Smithsonian.

Google Chrome browser has a Google Art Project extension which adds a tab that is refreshed everyday (hourly according to one source) with art masterpieces. You can learn more about the image or download it to use on your computer desktop!

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

The Google Cultural Institute also enables you to create your own galleries and share with friends. There is also a Featured section of exhibitions and collections. A couple I viewed were the Struggle Ink Exhibiton of public poster art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

If you need inspiration or to brighten your day, visit the site! Links in the header allow you to take a tour or watch a video to get started!

Resources:

Google Cultural Institute, www.google.com/culturalinstitute

Smashing Magazine, Smashing Newsletter #133, www.smashingmagazine.com


Your [Carousel] Chariot Awaits!

November 19, 2014

By Janet Dodrill

It's here, the restored Euclid Beach Carousel!

It’s here, the restored Euclid Beach Carousel!

The time has almost come for the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel to open to the public, on Sunday, November 23, 2014, at the Western Reserve Historical Society.

I have been watching the progress, first by working for Cleveland antiques expert Terry Kovel for four years at her antiques and collectibles information publishing company, as she served as Chairperson of Cleveland’s Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society, bringing the project idea to light and dutifully following through on the fundraising and building of it. The idea originated from her late husband, Ralph Kovel (Board Member at WRHS), who wished to restore it to working condition at the Historical Society’s museum. And, secondly, by visiting the museum to see the horses on display while fundraising events were going on, and to witness the progress of carousel being built.

Being inspired by the Carousel and event enabled me to create and bring art items to sell in the gift shop there: carousel and Cleveland-themed note cards, prints, and gift bags.

The workmanship, quality and aesthetic beauty of the Carousel are incredible. Horses over 100 years old were carved in wood and brightly painted. Hand-painted oils of Cleveland scenes adorn the upper part of the inner structure. It was restored, built and installed by Carousel Works of Mansfield, Ohio.

A glass jewel box pavilion was built in front of the museum to house it, and the Carousel turns slowly and lights up the sky at night.

Related Links:

7 Minutes with Russ Mitchell: Terry Kovel

Euclid Beach Carousel back on track in University Circle (slideshow)

Restored carousel brings Euclid Beach Park back to life (slideshow)

Euclid Beach Park: Cleveland’s playground for 75 years. Terry Kovel of the Cleveland Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society has fond memories of the park.

Noted Euclid Beach Park Carousel being restored at Western Reserve Historical Society (gallery)

Photos © Janet Dodrill

Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio. Jewel-box carousel building.

Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio. Jewel-box carousel building.

Carousel chariot awaits installation for The Grand Euclid Beach Carousel at the Western Reserve Historical Society, amongst antique cars regularly on display.

Carousel chariot awaits installation for The Grand Euclid Beach Carousel at the Western Reserve Historical Society, amongst antique cars regularly on display.

Cleveland prints by Janet Dodrill at the WRHS gift shop.

Cleveland prints by Janet Dodrill at the WRHS gift shop.

Carousel gift bags by Janet Dodrill at the WRHS gift shop.

Carousel gift bags by Janet Dodrill at the WRHS gift shop.

A beautiful hand-carved, painted antique carousel horse awaits installation, near a historic plane and automobile.

A beautiful hand-carved, painted antique carousel horse awaits installation, near a historic plane and automobile.

Carousel note cards available at the Western Reserve Historical Society gift shop, by Janet Dodrill.

Carousel note cards available at the Western Reserve Historical Society gift shop, by Janet Dodrill.

Original Euclid Beach Park Carousel pipe organ, with hand-painted decorations. A workman's hard hat hangs on the gate.

Original Euclid Beach Park Carousel pipe organ, with hand-painted decorations. A workman’s hard hat hangs on the gate.

Carousel prints by Janet Dodrill for sell at the WRHS museum gift shop.

Carousel prints by Janet Dodrill for sell at the WRHS museum gift shop.

Janet Dodrill with Terry Kovel (Cleveland antiques expert and Chairperson of Cleveland's Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society) visiting the carousel construction in progress at the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Janet Dodrill with Terry Kovel (Cleveland antiques expert and Chairperson of Cleveland’s Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society) visiting the carousel construction in progress at the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Carousel horses and other pieces come together in the restoration project of the Euclid Beach Park Carousel.

Carousel horses and other pieces come together in the restoration project of the Euclid Beach Park Carousel.

 


Cowan Pottery Jazz Bowl by Designer Viktor Schreckengost

June 14, 2012

By Janet Dodrill

Viktor Schreckengost

Viktor Schreckengost 1906-2008

In the early 1930s, an Art Deco style masterpiece was created in earthenware with black and vibrant blue glazes and a jazzy New York theme, tilting skyscrapers, stars and other symbols — the “Jazz” bowl. It was designed by ceramicist Viktor Schreckengost.

A web site is dedicated solely for Viktor’s bowls. It states in Viktor’s words that a design was requested, submitted and selected for a punch bowl with a New York theme while he was working at the Cowan Pottery Co. in Rocky River, Ohio, The client turned out to be Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the bowl turned out to be the first of a series (and first of three that she ordered) that he designed. It is estimated there are between 20 and 50 of these bowls, though the exact number is unknown.

Last weekend parade participants created a huge float version of a “Jazz” bowl and displayed it at the popular ‘Parade the Circle’ event in Cleveland.

Rago Arts auction has one of the bowls with a Schreckengost signature and Cowan stamp in their June 16, 2012 auction, estimate: $40,000-$60,000. According to Kovels.com, a similar “Jazz” bowl sold at Rago in 2010 for $158,600, and the bowls have sold at other auctions across the country. The are in both public and private collections.

Viktor Schreckengost Jazz bowl at Rago auction

Jazz bowl at Rago aucton.

I was fortunate enough to see a “Jazz” bowl in person at The Cleveland Museum of Art’s exhibit “Viktor Schreckengost and Twentieth Century Design” a few years ago.

Sources and related links:

Viktor Schreckengost on Wikipedia

Rare Schreckengost Jazz Bowl to Auction at Rago’s in June

Schreckengost Jazz Bowl Sold

The Biggest Jazz Bowl in Parade

Viktor’s Jazz Bowl Web Site


Antiques & Collectibles: A Big Industry

May 8, 2010

By Janet Dodrill

Royal Doulton Lady in Purple Dress Figurine

Royal Doulton Lady in Purple Dress Figurine

Recently, I have been exposed to the antiques and collectibles auction industry, and it is a bigger industry than I thought. First, I told myself I must not beat myself up for giving away or nearly giving away antiques and old family items in the past. I did not know then what I know now, and that these items may have been of value.

Seeing an item for auction triggers an emotional response in the viewer on a variety of levels. If it is an antique item, it may remind them of something they saw in their mother’s or grandmother’s house, or when they were growing up. It may be an item they do not already have in their collection that they would like to obtain. It could be that the viewer likes the thrill of winning and therefore keeps bidding on the item until the bitter end.

There are hundreds of auction companies throughout the country (and world) who draw consignors to sell their merchandise at regularly scheduled times of the year. Some auction houses have themed auctions (i.e. glass, Americana, memorabilia, estates, fine art, sports, dolls, etc.) and some have general auctions (i.e. antiques) or specialize in particular types (i.e. auction houses only selling movie posters).

Auction companies draw good followings. There are buyers and collectors that follow favorite ones or find out when items of interest are up for auction at other auctions.

Live online auction

Live online auction

The more I learn about the auctions, the more auction companies I see are out there. With the luxury of online auctions and bidding, one can bid and purchase items while the ‘live’ auction is going on, in the comfort of their home, but the excitement is still there.