Vase with applied bats and water plants, design Paul Dachsel ca. 1897, manufactured by Amphora-Werke Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel, ca. 1901, ceramics, marked
marked at the bottom with crown, “AMPHORA”, “AUSTRIA”, model no. “668”, modeler no. “41” Bib.: comp. Richard L. Scott (ed.), “Ceramics from the House of Amphora 1890-1915”, Sidney/Ohio 2004, p.127
Among the most popular products of the Amphora company were ceramics depicting fearsome animals such as dragons and saurians. Bats, a motif very popular with collectors, can already be found on exhibits for the World Exhibition Paris 1900.
In this vase, Paul Dachsel combines floral elements of Art Nouveau with grotesque animal depictions characteristic for Amphora. In a naturalistic microcosm, the viewer is led from the still water-surface to a buzzing flock of bats at the top rim. Plastically molded lotus leaves cover the bottom, their veined stalks artfully twisting up the wall, leaves and stems partly protruding and artfully applied to the vase.
Bats of different sizes dance around the rim, almost as magically drawn to their food source consisting of berries. This detail is masterfully crafted and testifies to the superb technical capabilities of the modelers. The applied openwork technique gives an impression of the innovative strength at Amphora works.
The glaze in predominantly beige-brown hues is beautifully accented by delicate iridescence.
Overall, the object is in an exceptionally good, unrestored condition. This can be considered a real rarity in ceramic objects from the period.
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