Paper knife, Werkstatte Hagenauer Wien, ca 1930, marked
Marked “wHw” in a circle and “MADE IN/AUSTRIA”, production number “286”
In addition to the variety of decorative objects designed by the Hagenauer brothers, there are also plenty of utility items that have been refined with their unique style. These range from candleholders and ashtrays all the way to hand mirrors.
A nice example is this paper knife with a silhouette of a horse, elegantly fitted into the round handle. Representations of animals were a constant motif of the Hagenauer brothers and thus this object is a further demonstration of the fine craftsmanship of the Hagenauer workshop in Vienna.
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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