Luxury Design, Past & Present
The early designs of the Wiener Werkstätte are characterized by the strict line of the geometric Viennese Jugendstil. From 1907, after Koloman Moser had left the producer cooperatives, a tendency towards more playful decorations and a preference for leaf ornamentation became apparent. This trend reached its culmination in 1915 with the employment of Dagobert Peche. Josef Hoffmann described him as "the greatest ornamental genius that Austria has possessed since the Baroque era".
This lidded box made of solid silver dates from the short period when Peche worked for the Wiener Werkstätte from 1915 until his premature death in 1923. The grooved corpus of the box is a witness of the artistic dialogue and mutual influence between Hoffmann and Peche; both designers frequently used this form of decoration for their metal designs. Peche left his individual mark by decorating every bulge with palmettes and waves. This motif can also be found on the knob. A fine pearl strap surrounds the edges of the lid and the base plate, emphasizing the beauty of their shape. The gilding inside the box accentuates the beaten ornaments and enhances their particularly precious character.