Known as car mascots, hood ornaments or radiator cap figurines, these small sculptures are truly works of art. Mostly made in bronze, they were patinated, chrome plated, nickel plated or silver plated.
Many automobile companies used them to embellish the radiator cap of their vehicles. These ornaments are considered factory mascots, like the Spirit of Ecstasy for Rolls Royce, or the Stork for Hispano Suiza, or the Archer for Pierce Arrow. And eventually over the years, the car manufacturers used different ornaments while evolving the car design. An early example of this are the Pontiac Indian heads of the 1920s and early 1930s, being different every year.
But motorists back on the early decades of the 20th century also customized or personalized their cars with accessories car mascots. And this is a complete and large new world for the car mascots. Many sculptors produced from limited numbers to large quantities designs to address the demand of the motorists, and automobile accessories firms promote these designs in their catalogs. From Goddesses to Policeman figures, Cats and Dogs, Birds and whimsical figures, the motorist of the era could find a wide range of alternatives. And even in glass, mostly thanks by René Lalique with his 29 designs that are today highly sought-after pieces. Many books were written about this subject, like Motor Mascots of the World by Williams, or the Automobiles Mascottes and Mascottes Passion by Legrand. Check them to discover this fantastic universe.