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KOLOMAN MOSER (1868-1918)
KOLOMAN MOSER (1868-1918)
KOLOMAN MOSER (1868-1918)
KOLOMAN MOSER (1868-1918)
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AN ENQUIRING EYE: PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR
KOLOMAN MOSER (1868-1918)

RARE MANTEL CLOCK, MODEL NO. S 771, 1907-1908

Details
KOLOMAN MOSER (1868-1918)
Rare Mantel Clock, model no. S 771, 1907-1908
executed by Alfred Mayer at the Wiener Werkstätte, Austria
ebony, partially engraved and gold painted colored glass, silver, clear glass
9¾ in. (24.8 cm) high; 12¼ in. (31.1 cm) wide; 4¾ in. (12.1 cm) deep
side stamped with Diana assay mark, rose mark, WW, artist's monogram KM and maker's mark AM
Literature
O. Schulze, 'Unsere Kunst, die Kunst Unserer Zeit', Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, 1908, vol. VIII, p. 109

Brought to you by

Daphné Riou
Daphné Riou

Lot Essay

A period image and a drawing of the present model are registered in the Wiener Werkstätte Archive, MAK, Vienna, under inventory numbers WWF 94-69-1 and KI 12590-8.

Two examples of the present model clock are recorded in the Wiener Werkstätte Archive, MAK, Vienna as having been executed.

“…what was good style in stage-coach days is not so now, what may have been practical, is not so now, and as times are, so must art be”—Koloman Moser

(K. Moser, quoted by A.S. Levetus, “An Austrian Decorative Artist: Koloman Moser,” quoted in The International Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art, Vol. XXIIII, Nov 1904 – Feb 1905, p. 114).

“Fertile in his designs he possesses an exuberance of rich inventive faculty, a masterly hand governed by perfect taste… he is eminently practical in his designs” (A. S. Levetus, “An Austrian Decorative Artist: Koloman Moser,” quoted in The International Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art, Vol. XXIIII, Nov 1904 – Feb 1905, pp. 114-115).


This important mantel clock by Koloman Moser is the embodiment of the design philosophy that has propelled him to be regarded as one of the most important pioneers of Viennese Modernism, and—alongside Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann—one of the most important figures of the Viennese Succession. Dating from the early years of the 20th century, this ebony and silver clock combines practical efficiency with aesthetic beauty. Evoking the form of a classical temple, the clock is comprised of a movement suspended from a graciously curved rich ebony pediment, which is in turn supported by eight blue colored glass pillars engraved and inlaid with gold paint and set on an ebony base. The upper half of the movement’s face is adorned with a series of circular motifs that resemble flowers, each one containing a small circular embellishment at its center with delicate lines radiating outwards. What appear to be solar flares radiate out from the lower half of the face, culminating in a pair of tight spirals at the base of the face. Even the pendulum is ornamented in similar fashion, with the motif of a butterfly, its wings at rest.

This attention to aesthetic detail, combined with expert craftsmanship, is what marks out Moser’s oeuvre. A holistic artist, he mastered the disciplines of painting, graphic art, arts and crafts, in addition to interior design. His body of work—ranging from furniture, tableware, painted glass, as well as graphic and fabric design—came to embody the notion of Gesamtkunstwerk, or the ‘total work of art’ as advocated by the Viennese Succession. Moser embraced the modernity of the age, without relinquishing the creativity of the artist. “We are now living in the times of automobiles, electric cars, bicycles and railways,” he once said, “what was good style in stage-coach days is not so now, what may have been practical, is not so now, and as times are, so must art be” (K. Moser, quoted by A.S. Levetus, “An Austrian Decorative Artist: Koloman Moser,” quoted in The International Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art, Vol. XXIIII, Nov 1904 – Feb 1905, p. 114).

The subject of a recent major retrospective exhibition organized by the Museum of Applied Art in Vienna, Moser is celebrated for the scope of his work. Writing in the early part of the 20th century, one commentator noted “Moser is one of the leaders of the Viennese Succession. His creed is the union of the artistic and the practical; but in order to understand how to bring about this union, he fully understands that the practical side must be cultivated quite as much as the purely artistic, for no amount of designing, painting and modeling will make a real artist if treated only in the abstract” (A. S. Levetus, “An Austrian Decorative Artist: Koloman Moser,” quoted in The International Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art, Vol. XXIIII, Nov 1904 – Feb 1905, p. 112). Moser’s work is held in many major museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Leopold Museum, Vienna; and the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka.

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