The Syracuse Ornamental Company, Syroco for short, was founded in Syracuse, New York in 1890 by a German immigrant named Adolph Holstein, according to information shared online by the Syracuse University Library. The company specialized in wood carving early on, supplying fireplace mantels and other decorative wood interior detailing to local residential builders.
“The process favored shallow molds with little undercutting, and this served well for the creation of a wide variety of ‘carved’ relief work to be applied to different sorts of flat surfaces such as walls, furniture, and caskets. Production of this new molded product, known as SyrocoWood, was the mainstay of the company’s production through the 1940s. The finished material could be smoothed and varnished to look like wood, or it could be painted. Sales catalogs from the early 1900s through the 1920s offer hundreds of varieties of moldings, capitals, brackets, volutes, and reliefs of vases, garlands, cartouches, scrollwork, and other details in a variety of styles,” as shared on the Syracuse University library website.
By the 1930s, the company had expanded to make an “extensive line of gift and novelty items” under the names “SyrocoWood” and “Woodite.” The Scottie dog brooch shown here would fall into this category. Other decorative pieces made during this era varied in quality with some nicely detailed and others lacking in design aesthetics. The compression molds used to make these wood-look pieces were actually created using original wood carvings, which imparted a realistic look (at least at first glance). You often don’t realize that a Syroco product is not real wood until you pick it up and notice a decidedly different feel about it. In fact, these items almost feel like dense plastic. Examining them closely under magnification, however, can reveal that an exterior finish that has worn away on the edges revealing the lighter-colored composite material under the surface.
From – thesprucecrafts.com/
Full Disclosure: The piece is in good shape as the two pieces remain well bonded. However, as you can see from the photos, some paint has been worn off or chipped off.