Karl Klaus
Austrian, 1889 - death date unknown
Ernst Wahliss, manufacturer (Vienna)
Vase, c. 1912

H. 11 x Dia. 9 in.

Architect trained, Karl Klaus served as an apprentice to a cabinet-maker before taking up ceramics as a lifelong pursuit. He executed works for other designers including Josef Hoffmann, and was working in the Wiener Werkst├Ątte about the time this vase was made. Serving as artistic director for Ernst Wahliss , he was largely responsible for the extraordinary body of works produced under the Serapis name.

Klaus's use of powerful graphics is evident in this remarkable vase where a dramatic gold and black chevron pattern frames a stylized floral, leaf and tendril motif on four sides. The flower is likely a variety of bluebell indigenous to the woods outside Vienna. Inasmuch as the Werkst├Ątte executed no ceramics until after World War I, designs were given to such firms as Ernst Wahliss having expertise in opulent, hand-painted faience requiring the finest craftsmanship. Produced in fragile soft-paste porcelain, many of these pieces have either been lost or damaged over the years.