Lot 110 : An extremely rare Wiener Werkstätte cape, probably Eduard Josef Wimmer-Wisgrill, circa 1920.
An extremely rare Wiener Werkstätte cape, probably Eduard Josef Wimmer-Wisgrill, circa 1920. narrow rectangular white on black label, of pleated, textured wool-silk mix with ruffled and gathered moiré collar and hem band, silk-covered toggle fasteners; together with a dark brown suede clutch bag with inset timepiece, unlabelled, late 20s to early 30s (2) Eduard Josef Wimmer-Wisgrill (1882-1961) was a versatile artist who worked in various avenues, including fashion, decorative arts, theatre and interior design. He first attended the Handelsakademie (Commercial Academy), then the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts), where he studied under Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Alfred Roller from 1901 to 1907. Wimmer-Wisgrill joined the Wiener Werkstätte in 1907 and served as first artistic director of the fashion department from 1910 to 1922. For the Wiener Werkstätte, Wimmer-Wisgrill was active in almost every area of design, but his strength was in the area of fashion - he was once described as the ''Poiret of Vienna.'' Provenance: Hertha Morgenstern (nee Israel, born in Berlin, 1900). In 1922 she married Max Morgenstern (born 1876), a wealthy manufacturer of worsted cloth who won many gold medals at international exhibitions. The couple lived in Vienna but the weaving mills were in Bielsko, Poland. Max was a cultured man who collected, amongst many other things, works by the artist Alfred Kubin. He was passionate about the Wiener Werkstätte, collecting beautiful glassware, furniture and various other items. He also commissioned some superb leather bookbindings, mainly from the designs of Josef Hoffmann; some of the sketches for these books can still be seen at the WW archive at the MAK museum in Vienna. In 1938 the black shroud of Anschluss enveloped Austria, stifling Jewish and liberal intellectual life. Max and Hertha, together with their two sons, fled Vienna. Either as a result of luck or financial inducements, the couple managed to leave with many of their possessions, including large items of furniture - but not a dining table that could seat 18! The family still holds Hertha's passport, which has a large red 'J' stamped on it. The couple initially arrived in London, before moving to Oxford and eventually settling in Bradford, the centre of English worsted manufacturing. Max hoped to re-establish his weaving company but was unsuccessful in this endeavour. In 1946, he was hit by a lorry in thick smog; he died a few days later.Hertha was somewhat eccentric and never came to terms with her reduced circumstances in England; for example, she sent all her laundry from Bradford to the Kensington Steam Laundry in London, some 200 miles south, from where it was returned in wicker baskets, each item interleaved with purple tissue paper. Her descendants recall that she was something of an autocrat, but that was hardly surprising as she was born into the Rothschild family. She died in 1962 of cancer.
Estimate:£1000 - £1500
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