Austria / Germany, 1904
Josepf Maria Olbrich (1867-1908)
Hand chased and repousse covered tureen with custom made pedestal
Exhibited in the German Pavillion of the 1904 World’s Fair
Literature: Nachtlicht, Leo. Deutches Kunstgewerbe, St. Louis, 1904. Berlin: Wasmuth, 1904; Deutche Kunst und Dekoration XV, 1905 S. 219.
Presentation piece: 22“ x 32” (height x diameter)
Pedestal: 63” x 14“ x 63“ (height x width x depth)
Auctionata possesses a level of ownership in the present lot in whole or in part, or has an economic interest in the lot equivalent to an ownership interest
Joseph Maria Olbrich created this important presentation piece to showcase his design sensibilities and skills. It is a tour de force of this famous architect and designer’s work. While there are several photographs and references linking this impressive silver vessel to Olbrich’s house in Darmstadt, the piece was actually created for inclusion in the German Pavillion of the 1904 St. Louis Exposition / World’s Fair. It is a unique and highly important object for the serious collector.
This monumental hand crafted piece incorporates many design elements and hallmarks of the Vienna Secessionists. Simple, geometric shapes come together to create a harmonious design, elevating the vessel to a work of art. The silvered presentation piece is comprised of four parts and is accompanied by an elegant custom made pedestal, displaying this imposing Olbrich masterpiece at the height at which it would have been viewed at the German Pavillion of the 1904 World’s fair.
The piece is in good condition with some wear to the silver, exposing the copper beneath. There is some light buckling of the oak veneer on the pedestal. The stand measures 63” x 14” x 14” (height x width x depth), with the vessel measuring 22” x 32” (height x width).
Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908)
Joseph Maria Olbrich, a turn of the century Austrian architect, studied at theWiener Staatsgewerbeschule and later at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Otto Wagner. Olbrich was successful at the Academy, winning several prizes including the 1893Prix de Rome. While Olbrich designed a number of grand buildings, including homes and galleries for the Darmstadt/Mathildenhohe artist colony and the Leonhard Tietz department store in Vienna, he is best known as a founding member of the Vienna Secession. Other founding members of the Vienna Secession were Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, who wanted to modernize traditional Austrian art by integrating more abstract and purer forms into architectural and decorative design. Aside from architecture, Olbrich also experimented with decorative arts design, an example of which is this large silver plated presentation piece, which incorporates the movement’s use of simple, abstract forms.