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Art Nouveau Domestic Metalwork: From Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik 1906

Art Nouveau Domestic Metalwork: From Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik 1906

by Graham Dry

At the end of the nineteenth century, Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik, or the Wurtemberg Electro Plate Company as the firm was known outside Germany, was the world's largest manufacturer and exporter of household metalware. At its height, over 6,000 workers were employed in Germany, Poland and Austria, and almost 10,000 designs for objects ranging from teaspoons to enormous table centrepieces were produced. Widely known by its initials WMF, the company sometimes employed the services of leading German designers of the day, but for the most part the wares were in a popular Jugendstil style, the German version of Art Nouveau. These decorative pieces are highly sought after today and are prized by collectors throughout the world.

WMF's domination of the export market is illustrated by the fact that they produced a sumptuous catalogue showing over 3,000 domestic pieces with descriptions in the English language. This catalogue was issued in 1906 by the company's English subsidiary from their showroom in Fore Street, London, and as each illustration was hand-drawn, it must have represented a considerable investment. Original copies are now virtually unobtainable, and the complete catalog is reprinted here in colour for the first time, with a detailed historical introduction by Graham Dry, a noted authority on 19th and 20th century decorative arts.

For the collector, this book will provide a fascinating insight into the type and style of domestic metalwork that was available at the height of the Art Nouveau period. With details which include size, finish and cost, the descriptions are a major source of information. This book is a standard work of reference.

Hardcover
389 pages
Antique Collectors Club Dist; 2nd edition
ISBN 9781851495108

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