Josef Hoffmann for the Wiener Werkstätte, Silver Plated Hand Wrought Vase, Vienna , c. 1920s
This stunning vase is made of silver plate on white metal. It is a classic design by Josef Hoffmann exhibiting his signature styles.
The base is an inverted cup shape with fluting and hammering. The body rises upwards and flares outwards towards the top. The shaped fluting increases in width gradually as it rises up the vase. Both simple and complex, the finely fluted and irregularly hammered surface is wonderful and sensuous.
Creating such a vase required a lot of work and the consummate skill of a master silversmith. (In fact this is true of most Wiener Werkstätte pieces. All Wiener Werkstätte production was limited – pieces required skill to make, they were moderately to very expensive and there was only a limited market for these goods. The Wiener Werkstätte never made money and was kept in business by loans from wealthy benefactors.)
Attesting to the fine design, two vases in this style are part of the major exhibition Wiener Werkestätte 1903-1932: The Luxury of Beauty,one brass, one gilded brass.
Exhibition: a vase of this model was exhibited by the Wiener Werkstätte in their display at the Paris 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (The Art Deco Exposition) (1), as well as the exhibition noted above.
This rare vase is fully marked underneath with The Wiener Werkstätte shop mark, Josef Hoffmann's designer mark and 'MADE IN AUSTRIA'. It measures 7.75 inches high, has been re-silvered and is in excellent condition.
Christian Witt-Dorring and Janis Staggs eds., Wiener Werkestätte 1903-1932: The Luxury of Beauty,(Munich: Prestel, 2017), p. 170. The vase is clearly visible on the top shelf of the display cabinet in plate 17.