During the first Wiener Werkstätte exhibition held in Berlin, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the “Kunsthauses Hohenzollern,” it was written that opposing styles appeared in a large number of their artworks. The stubborn-tetragonal use of straight lines, half pedantic, half capricious, erupt from Wiener Werkstätte designs. This gives their pieces a somewhat archaic austere-looking style.
Lot 51: Josef Hoffmann, table clock, Wiener Werkstätte, before 1909, € 30,000 – 50,000
Within the seriousness of artistic forms, the artists incorporate playful elements such as lapis lazuli and colourful decorative stones into everyday objects.
This is reflected in the artworks created by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Fritz Wärndorfer:
“We seek to embellish but not out of obligation nor to add monetary value. We use many semi-precious stones, particularly in our jewellery. Through their captivating colour and infinite diversity they replace the value of brilliants in our minds (…) We must admit that silver jewellery can be as valuable as pieces made of gold and gemstones.
The value of the artistic work and the ideas behind them need to be recognised and appreciated once again.”
“They were designers before this term was even invented.” Art historian Otto Breicha said this of the brothers Franz and Karl Hagenauer in 1974, describing the high standard and artistic creations of the Hagenauer workshop in its early days.
The figuratively and ornamentally perforated mirror by Karl Hagenauer was produced from the early 1930s to the mid-70s. The mirror is both aesthetically fascinating and pleasing to the touch due to its carefully crafted nickel-plated brass.
The use of forms is highly modern, with elegant asymmetric figures set between geometric nature motifs and stylised animals. The frame’s lively fusion of Art Déco forms and New Modernism become the aesthetic focal point of the room.
Not to be forgotten is the rectangular mirror in the middle, which reflects the fairest of them all!
Information: Magda Pfabigan, Specialist for Jugendstil and 20th Century Arts and Crafts
Lot 4: Karl Hagenauer, large mirror with figural frame, design: ca. 1930, workmanship: Werkstätten Hagenauer, Vienna, until mid 1970s, € 12,000 – 15,000