Richard Riemerschmid is one of the greatest german designers of the twentieth century and the leading representative of the “functionalist” wing of Munich Jugendstil, was a native of the city. His views came to dominate the design establishment. His name is especially associated with stoneware manufactured in the Westerwald, which drew the highest praise from critics and soon began to be produced in series.
This eggcup on three legs belongs to his early ceramic works. It refers straight to the mustard pot of 1902. It has a spherical body ornamented in a pattern of offset, rounded bubbles. Riemerschmid’s designs emerged from his own experiments at the potter’s wheel, adapted age-old techniques to modern production methods; they featured solid forms derived from the properties of the material and simple patterns in traditional colors.
The vessel’s basic spherical form, balanced on three angled feet, is reminiscent of metalwork designed in the 1880s by Christopher Dresser, with whose work Riemerschmid was surely acquainted (see C. Dresser: Principles of Decorative Design, London n.d. 1873, figs.146-47 and London Camden Arts Center; Christopher Dresser 1834-1904, 1979, nos.51,67-69).
Lit.: Joseph August Lux: Der Geschmack im Alltag, Dresden 1908, Abb. S.87; Deutsches Warenbuch, Dürerbund-Werkbund-Genossenschaft, Hellerau bei Dreden o.J. (1915), S.103, K320.
Furthermore: H. Rezepa-Zabel: Richard Riemerschmid, in: Sammler Journal, October 2013, p.26-34.