Wilhelm Wagenfeld, perhaps the most significant German industrial designer after Peter Behrens, was a designer with visions. For him the industrialization and the mass production meant an opportunity to establish a classless society, at least as far as it concerned the taste. Things he wanted to design, „every bit as nice and convenient that the richest wishes to own it, and so cheap, that also the poorest can buy it “. His immortal, timeless creations from simple things of daily use, dominated and influenced the design of the 20th century.
After completing his training at the Bauhaus in Weimar and assistance in the state Bauhochschule Weimar, in 1931 he received for the first time the order to design in big business – so refractory utilitarian glass for the Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Gen.. The world-famous glass factory had fascinated the artistic avant-garde and the utilitarian objects produced in this first phase can be called one of the first implementations of the Bauhaus-program.
The beginning of the redesign of the Jenaer glasses was the draft of the Sintrax coffee-machine by Gerhard Marcks in 1925. Until 1935 further 23 designs were followed by Wagenfeld. One of them was the prominent teapot and in consequence also this here offered, not anymore produced cocoa-mug. The new quality was characterized by the “unity of art and technology”, propagated in the Bauhaus. The shape of the mug was created from a single bubble: the body is light and easy, almost hovering, as tender and so anxious how it can be seen only to entities of nature. Nowhere else, the transparency of the material got the effect so convincingly. The protruded handle with its unusual rounding up, protects the hand from the hot liquid and gives the vessel its distinctive shape.
In: Exh.cat. DURCHBLICK Jenaer Glas, Bauhaus und die Küche als Labor, WAGNER:WERK Museum Postsparkasse, Wien 2012, p.62f.; catalogue raisonné „Täglich in der Hand“, Industrieformen von Wilhelm Wagenfeld aus sechs Jahrzehnten, Bremen 1994, p.97, no. 47; Wilhelm Wagenfeld, 50 Jahre Mitarbeit in den Fabriken, Ausstellung des Kunstgewerbemuseums der Stadt Köln 1973, p.29, no. 68.
Priceref.: Quittenbaum Munich, auction 103A, lot 280, hammer 300 EUR (excl. surcharge).