What's for sale?
This is an attractive, modern, metal and ceramic biscuit barrel, made between 1910 and 1930 by German companies WMF and Wächtersbach. The ceramic is by Wächtersbach, the nickel-plated brass by WMF.
The barrel was part of a large range of kitchen and table ware. The same shapes were decorated in a variety of patterns, with this one referenced by "Dec. 2000" on the base. This was still listed in their 1929 distributor's catalogue, as No. 8818/2000, available to the trade for 13 shillings (about £30 today). The pattern was described as "Art grey on white ground".
For this piece, the metalwork comprises the mounting around the rim, the lid which sits neatly into it and the handle. The handle is completed by a wicker grip.
This range is an example of how styles evolved between Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the small squares reminding us of the work by modernists Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) and Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 - 1928). Jugendstil developed in Germany after an 1887 publication of the Munich magazine "Jugend", promoting their local version of Art Nouveau.
The form is probably a design by ceramist Christian Neureuther (1869-1921), who founded what became the Wächtersbach art department. The pattern particularly shows the influence of Olbrich, an Austrian architect who produced a number of similar designs for interiors, homeware, book bindings, etc.
Who made it and when?
It was made by WMF and Wächtersbach in Germany. The printed and impressed maker's marks on the base read:
- Dec 2000 (the decoration number)
On the outside rim of the metalwork is the WMF mark in a diamond shape, which was in use from around 1890 to 1925.
What condition is it in?
- In very good condition
- No chips, cracks or dents
- The metal has faint scratches and swirls
- The metal is tarnished where the handle pivots
- The wicker handle is complete and undamaged
What are the measurements?
- 25cm high to top of handle
- 14.5cm to top of barrel
- 12cm diameter
- 841 grams
If you have any questions, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.