11563

A FINE STUCCO ART DECO PERIOD ARCHITECTURAL MODEL FOR THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE INSTITUT DE RÉESCOMPTE ET DE GARANTIE

Circa 1935.

Measurements

Width: 24 1/4" (61.5 cm); Height: 13 3/4" (34.9 cm); Depth: 10" (25.4 cm).

Research
Of stucco and frosted glass. The three-story building set with two banks of nine windows each above a ground floor with six windows, a central double door, and side door to the right, all with frosted glass panels. The central door inscribed IRG HWI.

Provenance:
From the estate of American art dealer and collector Eugene V. Thaw

The present architectural model represents the design for the Belgian government building that housed house the Institut de Réescompte et de Garantie—Herdisconteringsen Waarborginstitute (the Rediscount and Guarantee Institute), abbreviated to the IRG-HWI, as its central glass door bears an inscription with those initials. The building is located at 78 Rue du Commerce (Handelstraat 78) in Brussels (figure 1). Interestingly the windows of the present model are fitted with frosted glass panels, and a small aperture to the underside indicates that the piece could be illuminated.

In 1935, Belgium’s National Unity Government, under Prime Minister Paul van Zeeland (who was formerly the vice governor of the National Bank of Belgium), founded the IRG-HWI. Its purpose was to assist the movement of the market by discounting debt instruments such as bonds, leases and promissory notes. “The initial objective of the HWI was to lend its cooperation to the Belgian banks and Belgian industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises [by extending loans] in order to provide ‘for the public benefit’ the mobilization of their claims and to meet their special credit needs.”1

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.