This silver plate five piece coffee and tea set is a spectacular example of “Jugendstil” design. Richly decorated with embossed patterns that combine the lyrical curves of Art Nouveau but at the same time hinting of the clean , geometric lines that would become the hallmark of “Art Deco”. From the finials that crown each of the pieces – coffee and tea pots, creamer and sugar bowl to the way the base of each piece has a gentle slope, it illustrates just how the artists who embraced the “youth style” (Jugendstil) were dedicated to finding ways to balance ornamentalism with functionalism in their creations. The tray is exceptional – with its beautiful handles, and all pieces are in excellent condition both inside and out.
The set bears the marks of the WMF silver company, the intials of the famous German foundry ” Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik”, most often simply called WMF. It was founded in the 1853 as a partnership between Daniel Straub and Josef and Friedrich Schweizer, and in 1892 developed a special technique for silver plating in which the silver coating is of double thickness in any parts that will be exposed to greater wear and tear. This patented process is called “Perfect Hard Silver Plating”.
In 1910, under the art direction of Albert Mayer, WMF became famous for its Art Nouveau style and established companies for world wide exports in London, Warsaw and Vienna. Many pieces were sent to Argentina between 1906 and 1930, and it is likely that Harrods Department Store which opened in Buenos Aires in 1912 was one of the major importers of decorative pieces such as this tea and coffee set.
Tray 25″ x 14″
Coffee Pot 10″ x 8″
Teapot 8.5″ x 8″
Sugar 6″ x 5.5″
Creamer 6″ x 4.5″