An important silver and agate box. Josef Hoffmann, Wiener Werkstätte 1911
Josef Hoffmann ( Pirnitz 1870-1956 Vienna) was one of the founders of the Vienna Secession, an artists’ group…
A nine-part filigree silver tea-service, comprising six openworked teabowl-holders, a sweetmeat dish, a cream-bowl and a tea-casket with silver caddy.
The six circular filigree silver holders for porcelain cups are openworked and each is raised on a plain footring. The shaped circular filigree silver sweetmeat dish has a high well and is divided in sixteen lobes that are separated by plain bands. The splayed stem has a plain standring. The circular cream-bowl is divided in ten lobes and its filigree standring is openworked. A plain silver bowl is fastened to the exterior by a screw in the base. The rectangular tea-casket has a domed hinged cover and can be locked with a key.
Filigree was used in many places around the world: not only Dutch, but also Chinese, Indo-Portuguese and Spanish silversmiths used this technique. The trade of companies such as the Dutch East India Company spread the filigree products around the globe. Because of this, the exact origins of the technique are unsure. However, recent publications shed new light on this matter: silver ‘Indian’ caskets have interior rims on the cover that are chased by hand, as opposed to the Dutch objects that were made of rolled silver sheet.
Considering the above, it may be concluded that the filigree elements of this exceptional tea service were made by a Dutch silversmith. It is certain that the Amsterdam silversmith Anton Hinrich Pape made the caddy.
Private collection, The Netherlands
Amsterdam, 1792, Anton Hinrich Pape