Rare ladie’s bust with hand and cape, Werkstatte Hagenauer Vienna, ca. 1940, carved wood and nickel-plated brass, marked
marked with “ATELIER/HAGENAUER/WIEN, “MADE IN/VIENNA/AUSTRIA”, “RENA”, “wHw” in the circle
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This bust of a lady with cape belongs to the group of those exotic figurines manufactured by Werkstatte Hagenauer from the mid-1930s. The sculpture is made in a combination of carved walnut wood and cast metal. The intricate craftsmanship is skillfully demonstrated by the finely carved hand.
The woman’s withdrawn facial expression and her particular hand movement leave the viewer room for interpretation. Her almond-shaped eyes, however, and her hairstyle as well as the cape-like clothing possibly are hinting to the origin of the lady. Presumably, the figure represents an indigenous inhabitant of North America.
The very rare marking “RENA” indicates that the bust was explicitly manufactured for export to the USA, in this case specifically for Rena Rosenthal’s gallery. She owned an art store in New York from about 1920-1950, selling Austrian design and high quality decorative arts.
Together with the three-line markings “Atelier Hagenauer Wien” and “Made in Vienna Austria”, the production of this striking woman’s head can be narrowed down to the period from the mid-1930s onwards and is an excellent example of the international export activities of Werkstätte Hagenauer.
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