Phillips de Pury has announced that they are holding Vienna and the Wiener Werkstätte, an auction of important 20th century Austrian design to be held March 3rd at the company's New York home with many investment-grade pieces available.
The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), among the great design collectives of the 20th Century, was founded by architect Josef Hoffmann and painter Koloman Moser and operated from 1903-1932. At the Wiener Werkstätte, artists and craftsmen worked side-by-side on a wide range of handcrafted works characterized by meticulous attention to form and detail.
In a 1905 manifesto, Josef Hoffmann declared: "Our strength must lie in good proportions and materials well handled." Exceptional quality and a high level of craftsmanship were hallmarks of the Wiener Werkstätte's and an antidote to the superficial excesses of the late 19th Century.
The spirit of the Wiener Werkstätte was characterized by Gesamtkunstwerk, the ideal of the total work of art.
In keeping with that spirit, Phillips de Pury & Company's Design auction will integrate many aspects of the Wiener Werkstätte's production— furniture, jewelry, silver, glass, ceramics and textiles—as well as furniture by seminal Austrian architect Otto Wagner and his head draftsman Marcel Kammerer.
Phillips de Pury's Design auction will include works produced for many of Wagner's and the Wiener Werkstätte's most significant commissions: the Österreichische Postsparkasse, the telegraph office of Die Zeit, the Palais Stoclet, the Cabaret Fledermaus, and the Alfred Roller apartment.
In addition to designs produced by the Wiener Werkstätte's own craftsmen, the auction will include works made by the finest producers of the period including Loetz, E. Bakalowits Söhne, J & L Lobmeyr, J & J Kohn, and Thonet.
Alexander Payne, Worldwide Director of Design, Phillips de Pury commented:
"Early 20th century Viennese art and design continues to have international cultural resonance as evidenced by recent and forthcoming exhibitions at major museums and galleries. We are delighted to present this timely auction which will include significant works from this incredibly formative period."
Among more than fifty lots, highlights include: Josef Hoffmann's Rare "seven-ball" side chair, circa 1906, with an estimate of $50,000-70,000 and Koloman Moser's very fine unique pendant, from 1905, a necklace comprising gold bean pods, with an estimate of $350,000-400,000
Also on offer are Josef Hoffmann's Large rare "Gitterwerk" basket, circa 1905, with an estimate of $60,000-80,000 Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel's Important frieze study for the children's nursery, Palais Stoclet, Brussels (1908-1911) with an estimate of $l50,000-180,000
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