Art Deco lettering

Bucharest in the 1930s has been an effervescent architectural scene, with many people building their houses with money generated from an economy based on large oil and agricultural exports in the optimist years after the great world depression earlier in the decade. The Domenii quarter of the city has been mostly developed during that period and contained many premium quality Art Deco and Neo-Romanian style villas and also many edifices displaying an interesting syncretism between these two architectural orders.  Many of these villas were given names, usually that of the owner’s wife or daughter, or were marked with the monogram of the house owner on prominent places on the façade. The Art Deco style of the lettering used in rendering those names is often of a very gracious and highly original design, as can be seen in the three examples that I found during my periodic fieldwork in the Domenii quarter.

Art Deco lettering, mid-1930s house, Domenii area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The letter style in the example above is very Art Deco Modernist and of excellent design. I like in this instance the rendering of the letters “V” and “C”, which reveal the high talent of their inter-war creator.

Art Deco lettering mid-1930s house, Domenii area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

In the example above, the villa hosting the inscription is designed in a mix of Neo-Romanian and Art Deco styles, but the letters are very Art Deco. I like especially the design of the letter “R”. The Neo-Romanian architectural letter rendering is of a markedly different design, displaying an interesting mixture of old Cyrillic and Latin type shapes, as I documented in this very popular article a few months ago.

Art Deco lettering mid-1930s house, Domenii area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The house owner monogram pictured above is set within an Art Deco luxuriant floral motif, which made, at the time when I photographed it, an interesting contrast with the freezing weather and abundant snow around. It adorns the side of a unique violin shaped staircase tower, which I documented last year on this blogsite.


I endeavor through this daily series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.


If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

2 thoughts on “Art Deco lettering

  • Nice selection. I too like the V & C in the first example. The A and the R are good too and the way the Z leans forward … I guess I haven’t too many letters not to like.


    • Thank you for your comment David! All the letters together in the first example are exquisite indeed; pity the building is nearly falling down, the usual trick used by proprietors to get around heritage legislation and obtain a demolition permit (the actual market conditions value land in these areas much more than the old buildings). Valentin



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