Posted 7 years ago
I usually do not collect damaged items, but in this case it was a must to own these wonderful earliest Art Nouveau Harrach vases. The pair stands 23 cm high and the largest diameter is 7 cm. The vases are carefully cut in a hexagonal fashion and the separated cut foot was then attached and lateron broken, but was long ago repaired with lead, showing the high value attributed to this pair by it's former owners. The decor was taken over by Harrach directly from A. Racinet's publication "L'Ornement Polychrome" Tab.XII 1872, Paris shown in the last Foto. This type of publication awoke the interest of the advanced public into the art of the far east. This inspired Harrach quite strongly and in a progressive design the vases in "Japonesischem Dekor" were, with very high propability comissioned by Riedl&Keller, Karlsbad made as early as 1876. They show the decor of a chinese silk textile from the Tai Thsing dynasty, painted on a polished golden background over clear glass with the central dragon motive surrounded by butterflies and peonias in vivid opaque enamels inside white outlines . Probably this pair was painted by one of the most acomplished painters like Franz Herrmann, Josef Pfohl or Wilhelm Pohl and the extremely high quality suggests, that they were possibly shown either at the worldfair at Philadelphia 1876 or at Sydney 1879. In any case two years before the general trend of japanism was taken up in the Exhibition at Paris 1878 by A.Jean and E.Rousseau. Up to now, this pair is, besides four vases residing at the Harrach Museum, the only surviving example of the beginning of early Art Nouveau by taking over and assimilating Japonism for products onto the european market. For more details I suggest further reading the excellent book "From Neuwelt to the Whole World" Ed. Jan Mergl, pages 239-242 and 247 fig 278, where this pair of vases will shade more light on understanding the development of enolving Art Nouveau.