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African priestess Werkstatte Hagenauer ca. 1950

SKU 774

African priestess or Nubian Queen, Werkstatte Hagenauer Vienna, ca. 1950, precious wood, brass, marked

  • Height: 21cm, Width: 10cm, Depth: 17cm
  • 1950 to 1955
    Epoch: Design
    Technique: lime wood, carved; brass cast and later on chrome-plated
    Provenance: Private collection, USA
    marked with “Handmade”, “wHw” in the circle, “HAGENAUER/WIEN”
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    SKU 774
    Description

    The expressive figure of an African priestess or Nubian queen belongs to a group of African sculptures manufactured by Werkstatte Hagenauer in the 1950s. It depicts a kneeling dignitary or priestess with her arms raised in an evocative manner. Due to the imposing headdress, it may be the Nubian queen mother “Asantehemaa” or a priestess performing a religious ceremony.

    The figure, with its expressive grandeur, captivates the observer at once. The empty eye sockets underline the mysterious aura surrounding the exotic statuette. The statuette is particularly carefully crafted, as can be seen from the seamless transition from the stained wood to the upper body of the sculpture. The sculpture impresses with strongly stylized features and, at the same time, excellently crafted details.

    Execution

    Werkstätte Hagenauer – stylistic evolution and importance

    Today, the Werkstatte Hagenauer is rightfully among the most important Austrian Arts & Crafts manufacturers of the 20th century. The clear, strict formal language combined with dynamic poses and the usage of brass, nickel-plated, patinated or bare, along with copper, alpaca and exotic wood shows a high level of recognition.

    However, it took the siblings Karl and Franz Hagenauer quite some time until they developed their own unique style. Karl and Franz both attended the Vienna School of Arts & Crafts and studied under Josef Hoffmann, Oskar Strnad, Anton Hanak and Dagobert Peche.

    Until the closure of the Werkstatte Hagenauer on December 30, 1987, art objects of outstanding quality were still being produced. The siblings Karl and Franz Hagenauer strongly contributed in coining the term „design“ through their legacy and are surely among the most influential Austrian artists of the 20th century.

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    African priestess Werkstatte Hagenauer ca. 1950
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