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An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"

Article about: Hello everyone, Thought that I'd show a recent find from an estate sale. The item had an usual look and the price was right, so I bought it. A little research online indicates that the "

  1. #1
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    Default An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"

    Hello everyone,

    Thought that I'd show a recent find from an estate sale. The item had an usual look and the price was right, so I bought it.

    A little research online indicates that the "Melted Bullet", as the estate tag called it, is an American Arts and Crafts period piece by a coppersmith named Dirk Van Erp. During the first few years of the twentieth century Van Erp was employed as a coppersmith at the Mare Island Navy Yard in California. In his spare time he purchased spent shells and made decorative vases out of them, which he gave to friends. What began as more-or-less as a hobby or sideline to his job at the shipyard, became a fulltime pursuit. He opened a shop in San Francisco c. 1908, not too long after the devastating earthquake in that city. He branched out into other copper and glass decorative items, and became well known and in demand. His works are very popular among collectors today. I've included a phot of a decorative arts shop in San Francisco where a similar item is for sale. Dirk Van Erp is a fascinating fellow and if you are interested, you should check him out online. Thanks for looking.

    Tom
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"   An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"  

    An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"   An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"  

    An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"   An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"  

    An American Craftsman and the "Melted Bullet"  

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    I own a Arts and Craft home and we love everything A&C, great piece.

    Marty
    Fortune favors the brave 644th td

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    Thanks Marty. Its my only piece of that sort and glad I was able to pick it up. Very neat history!

    Tom

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    That is one striking shell there Tom, Love it!

  5. #5
    MAP
    MAP is offline
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    Quote by hftiii View Post
    Hello everyone,

    Thought that I'd show a recent find from an estate sale. The item had an usual look and the price was right, so I bought it.

    A little research online indicates that the "Melted Bullet", as the estate tag called it, is an American Arts and Crafts period piece by a coppersmith named Dirk Van Erp. During the first few years of the twentieth century Van Erp was employed as a coppersmith at the Mare Island Navy Yard in California. In his spare time he purchased spent shells and made decorative vases out of them, which he gave to friends. What began as more-or-less as a hobby or sideline to his job at the shipyard, became a fulltime pursuit. He opened a shop in San Francisco c. 1908, not too long after the devastating earthquake in that city. He branched out into other copper and glass decorative items, and became well known and in demand. His works are very popular among collectors today. I've included a phot of a decorative arts shop in San Francisco where a similar item is for sale. Dirk Van Erp is a fascinating fellow and if you are interested, you should check him out online. Thanks for looking.

    Tom
    I just saw an old rerun of an Antiques Roadshow episode this week and someone had one of his lamps. See the last photo of the lamp on the stand in your post.

    The woman paid $125.00. Estimated Auction price in 2007 was $40k - $50k (in 2021 the estimate was dropped to $20k to $30k). So I think you did very well for $10!

    Here is the video

    https://www.njtvonline.org/programs/...a-1910-cr8jnj/
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

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    For those outside the USA, you need to connect to a VPN service to see this clip.

  7. #7
    MAP
    MAP is offline
    ?

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    Quote by reneblacky View Post
    For those outside the USA, you need to connect to a VPN service to see this clip.
    Unfortunately it is not on YouTube so no direct video URL.....so can't upload directly.

    Here is a play by play : Woman buys lamp for $125 in the 1980's - Appraiser gives a background on who Dirk was and what he did - Talks about the lamp - Then tells her it is worth a LOT of money - Woman says that is fabulous.

    Got it?

    How's that?
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  8. #8
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    Default

    Very cool piece but how do you know it came from his studio . Is it signed .

  9. #9

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    Quote by MAP View Post
    Unfortunately it is not on YouTube so no direct video URL.....so can't upload directly.

    Here is a play by play : Woman buys lamp for $125 in the 1980's - Appraiser gives a background on who Dirk was and what he did - Talks about the lamp - Then tells her it is worth a LOT of money - Woman says that is fabulous.

    Got it?

    How's that?
    Hey I have VPN!

  10. #10
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    Default

    Good point, RH1941.. especially since he gave lessons!
    Either way, it’s an interesting piece.. and you didn’t pay $30,000 for it!

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