WMF Wächtersbach Art Deco Jugendstil Small Serving Tray

A small, metal and ceramic, oval serving tray in pattern 1876a and probably designed by Christian Neureuther. Second-hand.
Availability: Out of stock.
Stock ID: 608

What's for sale?

This is a small, oval, metal and ceramic waiter or serving tray, made between 1910 and 1930 by the German companies WMF and Wächtersbach Keramik.

This tray was part of a large range of kitchen and table ware, available in several patterns. This pattern is referenced by the "Dec. 1876a" on the base, described in their 1929 trade catalogue as "Grey Art Squares". There were six oval sizes available at that time, from 10 to 20 inches. Square, round and rectangular were also available.

The ceramic base of the tray is surrounded by a metal gallery border with vertical slits. It's completed by four small ball feet and two handles which have been engraved with a floral design. The metal is nickel-plated brass.

This range is an example of how styles evolved between Art Nouveau and Art Deco and the small squares are reminiscent of 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.

This is one of the rarer of these WMF Wächtersbach patterns to be found today And although it's over 100 years old, it still looks fresh and modern to us.

Who made it and when?

It was made by WMF and Wächtersbach Keramik in Germany, between 1910 and 1930. The maker's mark on the base reads:

  • Dec 1876a (the decoration number)

What condition is it in?

  • Second-hand
  • In fair condition
  • No chips or damaged metalwork
  • The ceramic base has a lot of crazing but is otherwise undamaged
  • The metal is tarnished from age
  • On one side the surface is heavily marked, as shown

What are the measurements?

  • 35cm length (13.75 inches approx.)
  • 20.5cm width (8 inches approx.)
  • 4cm high (1.5 inches approx.)
  • 714 grams

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Item Attributes
Attribute nameAttribute value
MakerWMF Wächtersbach
PeriodEarly 20th century (1900-1949)
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