International Decorative Art

Centerpiece Bowl with Pewter Holder

Centerpiece Bowl with Pewter Holder

Design Date c. 1902

Designer Peter Behrens (1868-1940, German)

Manufacturer Osiris Metallwarenfabrik für Kleinkunst Walter Scherf & Company (1899-1909), Nürnberg, Germany

Media pewter and glass

Dimensions 6 1/2 x 10 x 8 inches

The pewter designs produced from 1900 to 1910 by Walter Scherf & Co. in Nuremberg for their Osiris line were Art Nouveau pieces with subtle plant and animal inspirations. This pewter and green glass bowl by Peter Behrens bears a resemblance to an insect, with spindly, somewhat spiky legs supporting a transparent green belly a few centimeters off the table, as if the bowl is about to scuttle off. Walter Scherf was inspired by a quote from Georges Robenbach, a Belgian symbolist poet, who said that pewter was the moonshine of silver. Scherf then drew from this poetic image the name Osiris, for the Egyptian moon god and god of death. The square cutouts in the pewter lip of the bowl were a signature of Behrens’ style. They recall the square cutouts that were considered the purest form by the Viennese Wiener Werkstätte design movement of the same period. They also recall Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s designs for the Glasgow School of Art.

ON VIEW in Arts & Crafts Gallery 3

Markings Impressed "08/1419" in foot

Credit Line Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number 2013.0648