- Museum number
Teapot; clear fire-proof glass, with glass infuser; mould-blown body, free-blown spout and pressed glass lid and infuser.
- Production date
1930-1931 (designed between)
Diameter: 5.70 centimetres (strainer rim)
Diameter: 15.30 centimetres
Height: 8.80 centimetres (strainer)
Height: 11.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- See also 1981,0310.1-2
Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no. 303.
Wagenfeld trained initially as a goldsmith in Bremen and at the Zeichenakademie, Hanau. He joined the Bauhaus Metal Workshop in 1923 and then taught at the Bauhaus from 1926 to 1931. From 1931 to 1939 he worked for Schott Glaswerke on a freelance basis, and at the same time made designs for the Vereinigte Lausitze Glaswerke (see Decorative Arts 1850-1950, Cat. 307-8), where he was Art Director from 1935 to 1947, and for Fürstenberg porcelain (see Cat. 305 - 6). Wagenfeld is one of the few Bauhaus designers to have established continued involvement with industry, designing mass-produced objects according to modernist ideals of simplicity.
Schott Glaswerke was founded in 1884 by Otto Schott, specialising initially in optical and scientific glass. Domestic glassware was introduced by Otto's son, Dr Erich Schott, in the 1920s. Erich Schott first met Wagenfeld in 1922, when Wagenfeld gave a lecture on the Bauhaus in Jena. As a result Schott asked him to collaborate on the design of domestic glassware. Erich Schott also engaged another Bauhaus artist, Gerhard Marcks (see Cat. 154). The round profiles of Wagenfeld's tea service were adapted to a more square, angular outline by Heinrich Loffelhardt in the 1950s, but Wagenfeld's original model is still in production. For Schott, see Schott Information, 3/1984 (100 Years of Schott-100 Years of innovation) and Immenhausen 1988, Freund der Glaskunst Richard Süssmuth e. V., 'Wilhelm Wagenfeld-Glasdesign. Objekte aus der Sammlung Günter , Berlin', exhibition catalogue.
For a contemporary illustration of this teapot in an article by Wagenfeld on Jenaer glass, see Die Form, 6 Jahrgang, Heft 12, Bonn and Berlin, December 1931, 461-4. See also Die Schaulade, 8 Jahrgang, Heft 3/4, Nuremberg, February 1932, 198-9, where Wagenfeld notes that the teapot was blown in an iron mould, while the spout was free-blown and therefore always variable, hence differences in contemporary illustrations: for example, the spouts can be less curved (Design for Today III, London, October 1935, 408). For more recent literature, see Cologne 1973, Kunstgewerbemuseum, 'Wilhelm Wagenfeld, 50 Jahre Mitarbeit in Fabriken', exhibition catalogue no. 61; Bremen 1987, Bremer Landesmuseum, 'Taglich in der Hand: Industrieformen von Wilhelm Wagenfeld aus 6 Jahrzehnten', exhibition catalogue, eds. B. Manske and G. Scholz, nos 41-3; WAGNER:WERK Museum Postsparkasse, 2012, 'Durchblick. Jenaer Glas, Bauhaus und die Küche als Labour', M. Wenzl-Bachmayer (ed.), p. 63.
Information supplementary to Rudoe 1994:
See also M. Collins, 'Towards Post-Modernism, Design since 1851', London, British Museum, revised ed. 1994, fig. 87.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
Exhibited: BM, 20th-century gallery,1994-2006
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number