Art Nouveau 20 June, 4 p.m.
Above and beyond being a co-founder of the Wiener Werkstätte, Josef Hoffmann was and still is a “brand” in his own right—as was confirmed yet again by this auction, which included works from Hoffmann’s multifaceted, three-decade oeuvre. The top lot, a silver tea service designed by Hoffmann in 1928 for the WW’s 30th anniversary, easily doubled its lower estimate of € 50,000 to fetch a well-earned “jubilee price” of € 105,000 (SP € 132,300) from an international bidder. Furthermore, two brooches, both of them privately held for many years, stood for the beginning of Hoffmann’s singular career. Here, as well, international bidders made their presence felt, driving the hammer price for the octagonal piece with its colourful semi-precious stones reminiscent of Klimt’s flowery meadows to € 60,000 (SP € 75,600), while the delicate silver pendant with its vegetal theme went for € 40,000 (SP € 50,400).
Dagobert Peche’s mirror, designed for the firm of Max Welz in 1922, likewise drew intense interest. In this less well-known model, the decorative genius Peche paraphrased baroque leaf elements to create a brilliant union of strict geometric arrangement and playful leafy ornamentation—a model well worth its price of € 45,000 (SP € 56,700).
A further unique item for connoisseurs and collectors of WW items was a vase in “zebra décor” by Koloman Moser. This (most likely pre-WW) glass vase, produced by the manufactory of glassmaking firm Johann Lötz Witwe, stands out for its elegant combination of rigorously structured décor with a softly flared lip. The bidding war that it justifiably occasioned resulted in a hammer price of € 35,000 (SP € 44,100)!
Alle images available as highres download: Press Downloads