Luxury Design, Past & Present
A special feature of the Bohemian manufacturer Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel are vessels made of the so-called patented "ivory porcelain". The "portait vases" with their depictions of female faces in different contexts were completely en-vogue with the contemporary taste of French Art Nouveau.
The helmet that the lady is wearing on this vase is decorated with the Gallic cockrel. Proud and battle-ready this animal symbolizes France and thus, the belligerent warrioress can be easily recognized as an "allegory of France". Her splendid armour is artfully glazed and elaborately decorated with relief-like applications. The ornamentation on the helmet and the butterfly is particularly executed.
Nikolaus Kannhäuser designed the decoration for the "Allegory of France" around 1902-1903, which is part of a series of allegories of other nations. Among them are Germany, Russia and Austria, and these warlike depictions can certainly be seen as a symbol of the growing chauvinism of the European great powers in the period around 1900.
The vase has the complete marking "Turn-Teplitz Bohemia RSTK", "AMPHORA AUSTRIA" and the press mark "02039" on the bottom.