Vase with floral ornaments, Johann Loetz-Witwe, decor I/116 with etching ink, 1900
With its exotic shape this vase reminds of a calabash and is probably an in-house design by the glass manufactory Johann Loetz-Witwe. Its pattern of 1900 is well documented, and whit its organic shape it is similar to the vessels designed by Franz Hofstötter for the 1900 Paris World Exhibition.
The shape of the double-bellied vase with its four lips and extended tips at the neck alone testifies to the mastery of the glassblowers.
Its eminently ornamental decoration dates back to 1900 as well. Its stylized flowers, foliage and vines were applied with etching ink onto the reduced silver layer and are reminiscent of the elaborate floral Art Nouveau prints by William Morris. The dark blue ornaments stand out against a blue shimmering base and the charming contrast between iridescent background and matte ornaments gives this decor an almost textile feel.
Franz Hofstötter (Munich 1871 – 1958 Bachern) was a German painter, sculptor, architect, glass painter and craftsman. After attending the Kunstgewerbeschule Munich, he studied at the Munich Academy from 1890-93, among others with Gabriel von Hackl and Wilhelm von Ruemann. From 1894 until World War I, Hofstötter made a name for himself with designs for stained glass windows and entire church furnishings. His artistic value was probably secured by his designs for the glass manufacture Johann Loetz-Witwe (Klostermühle). Max Ritter von Spaun, the owner of the glassworks, had commissioned the young artist to design the art glass collection for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. Hofstötter's completely new vase shapes together with contemporary modern vegetal or naturalistic reduced decors contributed significantly to the resounding success of the glass manufacturer Loetz at this important international exhibition. Franz Hofstötter continued to create glass designs for Loetz until around 1911. After his military service in World War I, a personal crisis led to the discontinuation of his artistic work. Hofstötter's name is known to all Loetz collectors and his decorative glasses created for the 1900 World Exhibition can be found in collections of all important Jugendstil museums worldwide.
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