Influenced by German Expressionism and Italian futurism, the anarchist artist Erich Wichman (1890-1929) experimented with new materials and forms such as metallized concrete sculptures in abstract natural forms.
Having met Carel Begeer during an art-history course Wichman designed a small and rare series of lids, plaques and dishes in wavy patterns for the silversmithy of Begeer.
In 1922 the artist travelled to Vienna where he made his first masks, inspired by Japanese ones. Around 1925 they became an even more important theme in his paintings and applied art. Bronze paperweights, paper-knives, sculptures and jewellery often showed contorted faces. These bookends are the most characteristic ones of his work. Wichman died of pneumonia on New Year's day 1929.