Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Jewel Box

Artist:
Dagobert Peche (Austrian, St. Michael im Lungau 1887–1923 Mödling bei Wein)
Manufacturer:
Wiener Werkstätte
Date:
1920
Medium:
Gilded silver
Dimensions:
15 1/4 x 7 3/4 x 5 in. (38.7 x 19.7 x 12.7 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1978
Accession Number:
1978.8a-c
Not on view
Although the Wiener Werkstätte, founded in 1903, is perhaps best known for the strict and vigorous geometry of its earliest designs, a playful, ornamental spirit characterizes the work produced there after the start of World War I. Peche, who worked as a designer at the Wiener Werkstätte between 1915 and 1923 (becoming a co-director in 1917), was a driving force behind the development of a more exuberant and decorative aesthetic, derived in part from Baroque and Rococo influences and in part from folk art, which was typical of objects it produced in the 1920s.This jewel casket is a tour de force of artistic showmanship masquerading under a functional designation; indeed, the coffer would outshine any jewel it might contain. The domed box itself (raised on four bulb feet, each of which opens to reveal additional storage cavities) is dominated by the extravagant handle in the form of a flower-bedecked deer standing among grapevines.
Marking: Stamped (under box): WIENER/ WERK/ STÄTTE, MADE/ IN/ AUSTRIA, P, 900 [hallmark]
Roberta Coke Camp, Dallas (until d. 1973; her estate, from 1973; sold to Taylor); Loyd R. Taylor, Dallas (by 1977–78; sold to MMA)

Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna. "Die Überwingdung der Utilität-- Dagobert Peche und the Wiener Werkstätte," February 11–May 17, 1998, no. 48.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part I: 1900–1925," December 14, 1999–March 26, 2000, no catalogue.

New York. Neue Galerie. "Dagobert Peche and Wiener Werkstätte," October 11, 2002–January 5, 2003, no. 120.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Design," March 30–December 3, 2006, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.

Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria. "Vienna: Art and Design - Klimt, Schiele, Hoffmann, Loos," June 18–October 9, 2011, unnumbered cat. (p. 213; as "Jewel box" [S4880]).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table," December 17, 2013–April 13, 2014, no. 52 (MMA Bulletin, Fall 2013).

Penelope Hunter-Stiebel. "The Decorative Arts of the Twentieth Century." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 37 (Winter 1979–1980), pp. 14–15, ill., dates it about 1920.

Penelope Hunter-Stiebel in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1975–1979. New York, 1979, p. 77, ill., dates it about 1920.

R. Craig Miller. Modern Design in The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1890–1990. New York, 1990, ill. p. 92 (color, overall and detail), dates it about 1917.

Matthew Martin in Vienna: Art and Design—Klimt, Schiele, Hoffmann, Loos. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne, 2011, pp. 212–14, ill. (color).

Jane Adlin. "Vanities: Art of the Dressing Table." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 71 (Fall 2013), p. 39, no. 52, ill. (color).



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