Joseph Maria Olbrich
Austrian, 1867 - 1908
Metallwarren-Fabrik E. Hueck, manufacturer (Lüdenscheid, Germany)
Schnapps decanter, 1901

H. 13 1/4 x W. 3 5/8 x D. 4 1/4 in.

Most German metalwork from the turn of the century utilized Art Nouveau’s organic forms. This pitcher also includes the striking geometry found in works by the Wiener Werkstätte. Designed by Josef Olbrich, a leading Viennese Secessionist, the pitcher has been shaped like a peacock, with the lid handle serving as the bird’s comb and the lid itself bent downward like a beak. Abstracted plumage, represented by spirals and circles, can be found in low relief below the handle. Originally part of an eight-piece schnapps service, the pitcher would have been combined with a tray and six goblets, which could have been purchased separately or as a set. Very few decanters like this can be found in American collections.