- Museum number
Teapot; hard-paste porcelain, with flat, pierced handles to body and lid; the flat bridge between spout and body is also pierced with a circular hole; decorated with a band of roses and lines stencilled in yellow.
- Production date
1901-1902 (shape designed)
1914 (decoration designed;pre)
Height: 16.80 centimetres
Width: 19.20 centimetres (max handle to spout)
- Curator's comments
- Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed.1994, no. 270.
Sika studied under Koloman Moser at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, specialising in ceramics. She taught in various applied art schools in Vienna until 1933.
This teapot is from the first of a number of services produced by Bock (see also Decorative Arts 1850-1950, Cat. 208) and exhibited at the Osterreichisches Museum fur angewandte Kunst, Vienna, in the early 1900s. It was first produced in undecorated white porcelain (see W. Neuwirth, 'Wiener Keramik', Vienna 1974a, 295 for an undecorated coffee-pot). With its striking combination of curvilinear outline and geometric handles it was a remarkably bold design to put into production at the time, especially as the flat handles are impractical for a teapot and difficult to use.
The Porzellan-Manufaktur Josef Bock was founded in 1898 by Josef Bock as a decorating and distribution organisation. By having the pieces made under contract at other factories, Bock could allow artists and designers to experiment with limited runs. According to one contemporary account the porcelain was made in Bohemia and decorated by the firm's own painters (Kunstgewerbeblatt, Leipzig 1905, 15).
At least five different patterns for this service are recorded, all designed by pupils of Kolo Moser at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna. Many of the original drawings survive in the design archive of the firm of Bock, now in the Museum fur angewandte Kunst, Vienna. Some of the drawings are signed, though rarely dated. For the drawing for the pattern on this teapot, signed by Antoinette Krasnik, see W. Neuwirth, 'Osterreichische Keramik des Jugendstils: Sammlung des Osterreichischen Museum für angewandte Kunst', Vienna 1974b, 443. In the 1905 article, the service is shown both in plain white and with two different patterns: a geometric motif of triangles and a naturalistic floral motif. For a range of patterns in yellow, red and blue, see Neuwirth 1974b, 265-71, nos 153-9. For examples with a pattern of horizontal lines and semicircles, see C.B. Heller, 'Kataloge des Hessischen Landesmuseums Nr. 12. Jugenstil, Kunst um 1900', Darmstadt 1982, no. 372; for examples with overlapping circles in gold on a deep blue ground, see Vienna 1985, Historisches Museum, 'Traum und wirklichkeit. Wien um 1870-1930', 13/5/14; for the same pattern in rust on white, see I. Franzke, 'Jugendstil', Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Bestandkatalog 1987, no. 132, with the cups placed to one side of the saucer, as originally designed. Asymmetrically placed cups and saucers from this service appear in Carl Moll's painting 'Breakfast' of 1903, set in a room designed by Hoffmann (J. Kallir, 'Viennese Design and the Wiener Werkstatte', London 1986, col. pl. 1).
For contemporary illustrations of this service in the exhibition 'Wiener Kunst im Hause' held by the Wiener Kunstgewerbeverein, see Das Interieur 3, Vienna 1902, 103 and Die Kunst 6, Munich 1902, 132; the Wiener Kunstgewerbeverein was an association often graduates of the Kunstgewerbeschule. See also Dekorative Kunst, Munich ix, 1902, 132, 135 and XII, 1904, 240; Kunstgewerbeblatt, Leipzig 1905, 11, 14, 15. A similar service with unpierced handles was exhibited in H. Hirschwald's Hohenzollern-Kunstgewerbehaus, Berlin in 1904 (Deutsche Kunst & Dekoration, Darmstadt xv, 1904-5, 178). The service was expensive to produce; the article in Das Interieur complained of the high cost of avant-garde artistic wares of this kind. But in general the critics welcomed the initiative of firms such as Bock. The author of a detailed article on the exhibition 'Der Gedeckte Tisch' held in 1905 in the Mahrische Gewerbemuseum, Briinn (Moravian Museum, Brno, now Czech Republic) described the Sika service as exceptionally original (Kunstgewerbeblatt, 1905, 15).
A related service designed by Sika was executed in stoneware by the Wachtersbacher Steingutfabrik on behalf of Bock (Neuwirth 1974b).
Information supplementary to Rudoe 1994:
See J. Rudoe, 'An historical continuum: collecting 20th century applied art from Europe and America at the British Museum', in 'The International Art & Design Fair 1900-2002', New York 2002, pp. 15-28. fig. 11.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number