German, 1874 - 1968
K.M. Seifert & Co., manufacturer (Dresden–Löbtau)
H. 16 1/2 x W. 27 x D. 9 (at base) in.
The ceremonial appearance and considerable size of this twelve-armed brass candelabrum combine to make it the most spectacular of all Art Nouveau Jugendstil candelabras. The arms swivel around the central shaft, forming a three-dimensional structure in the shape of a stylized tree or, when placed against a wall, a stylized peacock (a universal Art Nouveau icon). Designed in 1901, it was being sold in several sizes by the Vereinigte Werkstätte until at least 1914. To date, only three other versions of this candelabrum have been recorded.
Only recently has the design been ascribed to Bruno Paul who used similar ribbed ornaments to decorate the legs of his furniture. His designs for small crafted objects are rare by comparison to the extensive and innovative work he did in the fields of furniture and interior design. He was a painter, graphic artist, architect and designer who, like Frank Lloyd Wright, Josef Hoffmann and so many other Modernist architect-designers at the turn of the century, successfully integrated their overall conceptions uniting exterior, interior and artifact--a spatial total immersion.