Table by Oscar Bach (1884-1957)

Determining ‘What’s it worth’ for Art Deco period pieces like this one can be a bit of a puzzle for Collectors because of the mix of styles used to create them. This one dates Circa 1925 and is probably a creation of the Designer Oscar Bach (1884-1957) or his former partner Bertram Segar.

As you can see, the style of these Bach/Segar pieces is unlike just about anything else at the time, the reason being unlike a great many other studios, Bach worked in a large numbers of styles from Gothic to Art Deco, often mixing styles to get the effect he was looking for.

Furniture by both are generally marked, but it often takes a bit of looking to find the markings. The Bach pieces were marked in a variety of ways, the early pieces with a medal that reads “OSCAR B BACH / NEW YORK / STUDIOS INC.” or a stamped marking that reads “OBASO-BRONZE / OSCAR.B.BACH. STUDIOS.” The pieces made after the split with Bertram Segar in 1923 can have a metal tag with the Artist’s name in script. On the later pieces dating from the 1930s they could be stamped “OSCAR B. BACH” and tagged “BACH PRODUCTS.”

Bach Patent Drawing

Bach is better known than Segar, he was born in Breslau, Germany in 1884, embarking on a career as a Metal Smith after completing his studies at the Royal Academy of Berlin and the Imperial Academy of Art in Berlin. Bach further expanded his knowledge of a wide variety of cultural, design and metal working techniques through his travels in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Bach emigrated to North America in 1911, opening a business in Greenwich Village Bertram Segar and his brother Max Bach, operating as Bach Brothers. The company moved shop to 257 West 17th Street and changing the company name to Oscar B. Bach Studios. The early Pieces by Bach were Decorative Arts pieces created for the upper class market of New York and Architectural pieces and hardware custom made for estates.

By 1923, Bach had severed his ties with Segar and set up a new shop, Segar remaining at the old West 17th Street studio location . Segar continued to operate in the original location under the name “Segar Studios”, but from the pieces we have seen produced in his studio they appear to be variations on Bach’;s original designs or reproductions. Segar pieces were not always marked and at times attributed as “Unmarked Bach” today.

Bach patented some of his designs, likely a way of protecting his market from Segar, the table pictured above looks very similar to the top patent drawing from 1927. Bach continued to be involved in Decorative Arts pieces until 1941 and his work can be found displayed in permanent collections in the Minneapolis Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bach continued to work until his death at age 72 on May 4, 1957.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *