Design of the Times — Georges Briard

Share:
Georges Briard was born Jascha Brojdo in the Ukraine. Photo: Anthologyhouse.net

Georges Briard was born Jascha Brojdo in the Ukraine. Photo: Anthologyhouse.net

Take a quick look around secondhand markets online and off (including Krrb) and it’s easy to see that Jascha Brojdo, or Georges Briard as he is more commonly known, had a way with glass. Born in the Ukraine in 1917, he ended up in Chicago in 1937. Though the world was in turmoil, Chicago was buzzing with design of every sort — something not lost on the young immigrant. Brojdo jumped into art studies at both the University of Chicago and the The Art Institute of Chicago. After earning an MFA he enlisted in the Army and served throughout the war as an interpreter.

After the war, Brojdo landed in New York where he reconnected with art school chum, Max Wille, and started to find his artistic footing. Trained as a fine artist, his first pieces to make it to market were metal serving trays that he hand painted. Wille recognized the potential and pushed Brojdo to investigate mass production and also pushed him to change his name — at least as far as it related to his design work. Design = Georges Briard. Art continued to = Jascha Brojdo.

Photo: Mistermodtomic.blogspot.com

Photo: Mistermodtomic.blogspot.com

Needless to say, Briard became the much more recognized moniker due to the eventual mass production of his work. His work was so mass produced in fact that, as Jessica from the blog, There’s No Accounting for Good Taste, states: “Briard designs were so numerous and were produced for so many years that it’s difficult to get through an entire flea market without seeing something he designed, which makes them great entry-level collectibles.”

And there’s the rub. Briard’s designs are undoubtedly special. The care with which they were created is readily evident. But is it too much of a good thing? Has their overabundance made them more akin to Skittles than Mom’s banana bread? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe Skittles are delicious regardless of how many people have them? Maybe Mom’s banana bread would be just as incredible if it were stocked in grocery stores across the country? It’s possible (but doubtful, due to my Mom’s amazing banana bread).

Still, call me a brat but my attraction to all things secondhand (and all things first hand come to think of it) has been the personal aspect. The idea that, in something’s rarity lies its ability to have a real effect on who we are and what we think. Because when it comes down to it, we are really just a collection of experiences and interactions—each building on top of the other to produce that shiny happy thing we call character. And what fun would the world be if we all had the same character or personality? That’s a rhetorical question, of course.

This has become an issue increasingly worthy of discussion in the internet era where almost everything is ubiquitous. So while I love you Briard, I think I’ll save my pennies for Brojdo.

Design of the Times — Georges Briard

 
  • Vanessa Londono

    Agreed! Especially because his designs are so recognizable.

  • Carolyn Martin

    I love the photo of Briard. I had not come across that before. I have been buying and selling Georges Briard wares for years. You are right, it is a great collectible for entry level collectors.

  • Anna Golderese
  • Anna Golderese

    Estate sales are usually announced on Craigs List, or you can sign up for Estate sale notifications in your area with what ever service is in your area. Google estate sale notifications and a few sites should pop up. Good Luck!

  • Vanessa Londono

    Wow. Where do you find out about estate sales? I’ve never been to one. It’s on my scavenger wishlist. :)

  • Anna Golderese

    You have to be at many sales very early. Up here we have Estate Sales, more in the summer than winter and most of them you get there around 6 am and have to sign a sheet so they let you in by when you arrived. The sale usually starts at 8 or 9 so you have to wait for hours but you can get some great stuff.

  • Vanessa Londono

    Hi Anna,
    That’s so sweet. Definitely keep an eye out. Do you find good stuff at yard sales in RI? In Brooklyn, I have to show up early or I miss all the good stuff.

  • Anna Golderese

    Hi Vanessa, I got mine at a yard sale here in RI. If you would like I can see if I have another one and post it for sale if you’d like.
    Thanks for asking.

  • Vanessa Londono

    @anna golderese, where did you find the meat platter? I’ve been looking for vintage serving dishes that aren’t too flowery.

  • Anna Golderese

    I have a beautiful meat platter by Briard and I love it. Same pattern as the pots featured. They were well made, better than many you might buy new today. So many glass styles also. He was designing at the same time as Fred Press I think. Have had glassware that sold well from both.

  • Andrew Wagner

    Glad to know that @25caae534a727d8e4fef782f25089d93:disqus’s banana bread will never be mass produced. It just wouldn’t be the same! @changeofart:disqus glad you enjoyed the journey! Wish I could’ve had your high school job as opposed to mine cleaning carpets : )

  • Change of Art

    Oh my gosh.This brings back memories of Wieboldt’s (their last days here in Chicagoland). I had a high school job in the china/glass department, and I remember wrapping up LOTS of his specialty barware as gifts. Lots of gold and brass… Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!

  • Mom

    Definitely recognize that metal ware!

    But never fear: Mom’s banana bread will never be mass-produced!!