Josef Hoffmann (designed by) Austrian Silver Flower Basket, c. 1905, made by the Wiener Werkstätte 1906-15
Iconic and modern, this silver flower basket, or 'Blumenkörbchen', is a classic design by Hoffmann for the Wiener Werkstätte. 'Gitterwerk', or lattice work, was one of the first decorative styles used by Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstätte. Although this basket is simple in appearance, each part, each line is carefully planned and surprisingly complex. The subtle changing shape of the basket, the gentle curve of the base (which acts as a foot) and the perfect proportion of the curved handle.
This model was produced from 1906-15. It was made in white painted zinc, silver plate and silver. Silver examples are quite rare. Although simple looking, their fabrication 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.)
Rare silver examples of this form are known to exist in a few museum collections such as the MAK in Vienna (Andy Warhol owned one), but most of the examples that come on the market are the more common silver plate or painted white metal models.
This fine example is fully marked on the body with the Viennese Diana head hallmark for 900 silver, The Wiener Werkstätte shop mark, the Wiener Werkstätte 'Rose' mark and Josef Hoffmann's designer mark. It is also marked on the handle with the Diana hallmark. It measures 10 inches high, weighs 4.35 troy ounces and has never been monogrammed. It is in very good/excellent antique condition (minor restoration to the handle) and retains the original glass liner.
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