An 800 grade silver Art Nouveau butter dish
by August Oesselmann for Würbel & Czokally
Vienna circa 1902/03
Navette-shaped bowl with a slanted wall, decorated on all sides with openwork geometric décor and finished on the narrow sides by elevated handles. The interior with original gilding and original glass insert with cut bottom star.
The glass insert in very good condition, the wall of the bowl slightly dented on the inside.
Elegant silver butter dish of the Viennese Art Nouveau in good authentic condition.
17.8 cm / 7.0″ length, 12.4 cm / 4.88″ width, 4.2 cm / 1.65″ tall to the handles; 207.4 g / 7.31 oz
After the Viennese silversmiths Würbel & Czokally together with Vinzenz Mayer’s Söhne had realised Josef Hoffmann’s first early designs in silver, from 1903 onwards Josef Hoffmann only had his designs executed by the silversmiths of the newly founded Wiener Werkstätte. For this reason, the silversmiths Würbel & Czokally were forced to look for good alternative designers. The decision was made in favour of the Darmstadt artist August Oesselmann who, as a student of Koloman Moser, from then on provided designs for the Viennese silversmiths. The excellent craftsmanship of the silverware for which Würbel & Czokally was known, together with the graceful designs of August Oesselmann, were also reflected in the consistently positive reviews of the art critics of the time. For example, an identical design of a bowl in silver of presumably somewhat larger design is illustrated in the contemporary art magazine “Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration” [= “German Art and Decoartion”] in the April 1903 issue (see here).
A similar work, but with a closed wall, is further illustrated in: (no author) “VIENNA – Turn of the Century” (sales catalogue of the Galerie Fischer Fine Art Limited), London 1979, p. 22, fig. 76.