Attributed to Samuel Yellin
Philadelphia, circa 1920
39.5 inches high, 23 inches deep

Samuel Yellin’s forge produced dozens and dozens of andirons meant to furnish the baronial fireplaces that were ubiquitous in domestic and institutional buildings of his era. Most of these were modeled on or copied from antique designs, but a few, like these, showed his own inventiveness and sense of humor, which places them among the best of his production.

These andirons are not signed. I base my attribution on my decades of study and appreciation of Yellin’s work, but also on the fact that his son Harvey, who was still alive when I purchased the andirons in 1975, concurred with my opinion. I have seen one other set of similar design, but the execution of that set was clumsy and crude, leading me to believe it was the work of a Philadelphia School of Industrial Design student or a Yellin apprentice. Only a master could produce the even twists and graceful curves in this set.

The set is all original and has never been refinished.