German, 1892 - 1971
Cocktail/schnapps set, c. 1930
Tray: H. 2 1/4 x W. 19 x D. 5 1/4 in.
Decanter: H. 14 3/8 x W. 9 x D. 3 in.
Cordials: H. 4 3/4 x W. 3 1/4 x D. 1 1/2 in.
This Art Deco schnapps set combines the utilitarian with the sculptural in a work of undeniable period charm. Finely crafted in brass, the decanter has been rendered in the form of a stylized hen and the cordial glasses as six small chicks. It was designed by H. Ottmann, about whom little is known. Undoubtedly formally trained, he might have taught at an academy or workshop near Berlin, where this set was probably made. For these pieces, he drew on such diverse influences as German Expressionism, folk art, and the "animalization of art" practiced by such designers as Gerhard Marks, who found inspiration in nature, and endeavored to convey both its essence and mystery.