Global Art & Artifacts

Vintage Maitland Smith Bronze Pair of Monkeys Carrying a Dish.  Business Card.  Candle.   Singerie. Statue.  Figure. Casting.  Philippines.

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A new word for some of us:  Singerie.  Not sure what the Maitland Smith folks had in mind when they created this casting of monkeys, carrying a dish- like-object on two poles.  But it has a history.


Singerie, a visual arts depiction, can be found back in ancient Egypt but more popular in France over the last couple of centuries.  The word – singerie – is the name given to a visual arts genre depicting monkeys imitating human behavior.  Such monkeys are often dressed in high attire, intended as a diverting sight, always with a gentle cast of mild satire.  You know, like French satire is noted for.


Regardless, this is a very impressive piece of art history from the mid-1900s.  It fits in very well with the Maitland Smith style of furniture and furnishings.  And, Maitland Smith was well known for many representations involving primates.


What should these monkeys be transporting.  I would guess it was offered with nothing in the dish.  Or perhaps – since Maitland Smith produced many office fixtures – it was for your business cards.  Maybe in your foyer to place your keys.  Although I would not think this piece was intended for a candle, I am sure it would be a suitable receptacle.


I have only found two of these in auctions or private sales in the last 2 years . . .  both in the same condition as this, both quite a bit more expensive, especially with Buyer Premium fees.


This piece is in good condition with no chips, dents but with some paint loss on the base.


For the Serious Collectors who love this type of vintage art.




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