Who Is C. Jeré?
If you find a piece of metal wall art, there’s a good chance someone, somewhere, has attributed it to C. Jeré. Works under the name C. Jeré are very common, but they can be harder to authenticate. Part of that is because there is no one sculptor named C. Jeré!
C. Jeré, sometimes also called Curtis Jeré, is a blend of two different names: Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels. This combined nom de plume (nom de métal?) came to be in 1963, when the two brothers-in-law joined forces with the company Artisan House. Their goal was to bring modern, high-quality art to the masses.
Confusing matters further is the fact that not all C. Jeré pieces were, in fact, signed. Often, pieces are attributed to Artisan House because of the age, style and materials used. Brass, copper and steel were all widely used.
Some of the pieces have a cruder look often (wrongly) described as 'brutalist'. This is seen in some of the bridge designs, which are unmistakably more abstract, making use of rougher shapes and haphazard splashes of metal. Two more very popular varieties are C. Jeré balloon and birds in flight wall sculptures. These designs can come in several sizes, but keep in mind that some are quite large. They are metal, so they can also be heavy and a challenge to ship!
The price of C. Jeré pieces can vary significantly. On the lower end, you might have pieces that don’t have a signature or a date. Other affordable pieces might have small pieces missing (like the leaf of a tree or a piece of a bridge). Sometimes, pieces have been cleaned incorrectly, or they might be rusting.
At the highest end of the price range, you’ll find C. Jeré pieces that have are large and in pristine condition. Light fixtures like floor lamps and chandeliers can also command high prices. Also at the higher end are new licensed reproductions of C. Jeré from Jonathan Adler. These are not true vintage pieces, but they do use the original mid-century designs.