Menagerie

Austrian
about 1913
Form attributed to Josef Hoffmann (Austrian (born in Pirnitz, Moravia), 1870–1956), Decoration designed by Michael Powolny (Austrian, 1871–1954)


Dimensions

Overall (h x Diameter): 18.7 x 7.9 cm (7 3/8 x 3 1/8 in.)

Accession Number

1993.629

Medium or Technique

Glass with frosted and bronzite decoration

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Glass

Wine glass with a round foot, tall thin graduated stem with a swelling in the middle and a straight-sided round bowl. The outer surface of the entire glass is matte and the inside surfaces are polished. The foot of the glass is decorated at the edge with a delicate black zig-zag pattern. The bowl is decorated in bronzite (black and white) with a continuous double band of animals and flowers divided by a zig-zag pattern and bordered at top and bottom with a straight black band. The animals include a bull, rooster, ducks, dog, stag, rabbit, horse and bird.


No glass was produced at the Wiener Werkstätte; instead, designs were sent to manufacturers in Bohemia. These glasses are decorated with a continuous scene in a frosted and “bronzite” finish. Bronzite is a costly, labor-intensive technique in which glass is coated with a metallic alloy that is subsequently acid etched to create the pattern. The style of the patterns here-strong contrasts of silhouettes within panels-had become synonymous with the Wiener Werkstätte. The self-consciously naïve depiction of animals reveals the interest in folk art shared by many Werkstätte designers.

Provenance

1993, sold by Pruskin Gallery, London, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 27, 1993)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Frances H. Colburn in honor of Alan Shestack