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 rectangular silver engraved scene of a wharf. In the background a ketch bearing the name Laudon and trading vessels at anchor. Figures conversing and playing cards in the foreground right. A comptoir with a bookkeeper is shown on the left. The comptoir is crowned by a caduceus. In the comptoir a sheaf of corn is depicted.
Based on the caduceus and the sheaf of corn it can be concluded that this allegory refers to the Dutch trade with the countries around the Baltic Sea which is called ‘de moedernegotie’ (Mother Of All Trade).
Driven by merchants from Amsterdam from the Late Middle Ages this trade was the main source of wealth in Amsterdam. And because of that wealth, the city could develop into the economic center of Holland and the entrepot of Europe. The lucrative Baltic Trade laid the foundations for the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic.
Signed: P. Evers M.G Fecit Ao 1789
10.7 x 19.3 cm