Why was Edgar Brandt a leader in the field of ironwork?

Escalier Mollien Staircase, Musee du Louvre, Paris
Escalier Mollien Staircase, Musee du Louvre, Paris

Ornamental ironwork was produced in the 1920s using contemporary methods.

Edgar Brandt (1880–1961) was a French metalworker. He was known for his innovative designs incorporating traditional and modern techniques, and his work can be found in many public and private collections worldwide.

Edgar Brandt was a leader in the field of ironwork at the beginning of the 20th century. His work included everything from cutting-edge weapons to beautiful lighting and decorative metalwork. Brandt only bought from the best places when he needed other materials for his ironwork. Daum Freres of Nancy, one of the best glass companies, made the glass shades for Brandt’s Cobra lights. The porcelain came from Sevres, and the marble came from Italy.


Brandt was born in Paris, but his parents and grandparents were from Alsace. When he was young, he went to work for the well-known blacksmith Emile Robert. Early works included jewellery made of silver and larger pieces of ironwork. In 1905, he started getting noticed at the Paris Salons for these pieces. In 1919, Brandt opened his own atelier on the site of his father’s old arms factory. During the 1920s, he got many public and private commissions and was known as the best art deco ironworker. His ways of working were modern and careful. He used new machines and technologies that metalworkers hadn’t had access to before to make beautiful, seamless products. But almost all of Brandt’s workshops made things like radiator grilles and covers, firescreens, and-irons, mirror frames, console tables, pedestals, jardinieres, tables, floor lamps, and wall lamps.

Presentation Drawing for a Tall Side or Serving Table with a Wrought-Iron Base and a Glass Top by Edgar Brandt
Presentation Drawing for a Tall Side or Serving Table with a Wrought-Iron Base and a Glass Top by Edgar Brandt. The Met


At the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, his many contributions included the Porte d’Honneur (which, because it was temporary, wasn’t made of expensive wrought iron but of a cheap alloy with Ruhlmann’s Hôtel du Collectionneur and his own aluminium finish), the gates for an ornamental metal-filled showroom, which featured his masterwork, LOasis, a five-panel wrought-iron and brass screen.

In 1925 and 1926, Brandt opened showrooms in both Paris and New York. Jules Bouy ran the New York showroom, Ferrobrandt, Inc., and the things it showed inspired many ornamental ironworkers in the United States. The Eternal Flame of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris, the gate for the new French Embassy in Brussels, and a staircase in the Louvre were all projects for the public.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Edgar Brandt. (2022, December 28). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Brandt


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