Silberleuchter Otto Prutscher 01 1

Significant Viennese Ornate Candelabra, Design by Otto Prutscher 1920/21

in Silver-Plated Execution

This near­ly Baroque-inspired chan­de­lier was designed by Otto Prutsch­er around 1920 for the din­ing room of Leo Nowak in Vien­na. It was craft­ed by the Wiener Werk­stät­ten in a sil­ver-plat­ed exe­cu­tion from ham­mered brass. Par­tic­u­lar­ly beau­ti­ful along­side the elab­o­rate design is the fine appear­ance of the ham­mered sur­face, which cov­ers the entire body of the chan­de­lier, except for the del­i­cate arms.

A sim­i­lar table cen­ter­piece, also designed by Prutsch­er in 1920 for the Nowak res­i­dence in sil­ver, and exe­cut­ed by the Wiener Werk­stät­ten, exists as a design draw­ing as well. (Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts Vien­na, Otto Prutsch­er 1880 – 1949, Page 40)

Prutsch­er received sev­er­al com­mis­sions for var­i­ous chan­de­liers from Leo and Jakob Nowak, part­ly for Leo Nowak’s res­i­dence in Vien­na’s Alser­grund dis­trict, at Alser­strasse 28, and also for the fur­nish­ings of Jakob Nowak’s house in Vien­na Dorn­bach, at Dor­nach­er­strasse 27. Espe­cial­ly the chan­de­liers designed by Prutsch­er in the twen­ties, includ­ing both ceil­ing and table chan­de­liers, dif­fer in their approach from Prutscher’s ear­li­er designs. The influ­ence of nature on these designs is unmis­tak­able; they vague­ly resem­ble flow­ers, inter­twined stems with leaves, and the tulip-shaped fit­tings, or as in our chan­de­lier, the can­dle noz­zles, are evi­dent in the designs of this peri­od. They dif­fer sig­nif­i­cant­ly from the abstract geo­metri­cism of Prutscher’s ear­li­er designs, although it is worth not­ing that Prutsch­er simul­ta­ne­ous­ly designed chan­de­liers with a very sim­ple for­mal lan­guage com­bined with tex­tiles for the Melz­er company.

Sig­na­tures: At the base, we find the mono­gram O. P.” as well as the exe­cu­tion mark WIENER WERKSTÄTTE

Rarely do we find objects in the art mar­ket that com­bine as many aspects of sig­nif­i­cant prove­nance as this ornate can­de­labra. On the one hand, we have Otto Prutsch­er, one of the most sig­nif­i­cant design­ers of Vien­nese Art Nou­veau and the Seces­sion, and the Wiener Werk­stät­ten, the most sig­nif­i­cant Vien­nese pro­duc­er of that era, as well as Leo Nowak, the com­mis­sion­er. On the oth­er hand, the Schedel­may­er col­lec­tion, which can right­ly be described as the most exten­sive col­lec­tion of Otto Prutscher’s works, as well as the many doc­u­men­ta­tion and sig­nif­i­cant exhi­bi­tions such as those at the MAK and the Leopold Muse­um in Vienna.

This sev­en-flame can­de­labra, com­mis­sioned for Leo and Jakob Nowak, among oth­ers, is depict­ed and described in the two-vol­ume col­lec­tion book by Heim & Fritz Schedel­may­er, pub­lished by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts Vien­na Otto Prutsch­er 1880 – 1949 Archi­tect and Design­er between Tra­di­tions and Moder­ni­ty Vol­ume 2, p. 168, 169, Fig­ure No. 183:

…The fur­nish­ings for Leo and Jakob Nowak’s res­i­dences includ­ed par­tic­u­lar­ly impres­sive can­de­labras. For the salon of Leo Nowak’s res­i­dence in Vien­na’s Alser­grund dis­trict, they were made of ham­mered brass and gild­ed; for the men’s room, of pati­nat­ed, ham­mered, and ham­mered brass, with sea­son­al put­ti by Powol­ny 3; and for the din­ing room, Prutsch­er designed an almost Baroque sev­en-flame ornate can­de­labra in sil­ver-plat­ed brass → 183. In Jakob Nowak’s house in Vien­na-Dorn­bach 33, the forms were more rem­i­nis­cent of clas­si­cism, all crowned with fig­u­ra­tive ele­ments; a two-flame can­de­labrum with a cen­tral fig­ure on the mir­ror box in the ladies’ lounge, on the man­tel­piece in the men’s room 35 and a four-flame can­de­labrum, sil­ver ham­mered, on the man­tel­piece in the din­ing room.
The pref­er­ence of this com­mis­sion­er for fig­u­ra­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tions was tak­en into account through­out the furnishings…”

Otto Prutsch­er (1880 – 1949) belonged to the first gen­er­a­tion of stu­dents at the Vien­na School of Arts and Crafts. His admis­sion in 1897 and his stud­ies under some of the most sig­nif­i­cant artists of the Vien­na Mod­ernism, such as Josef Hoff­mann, Kolo­man Moser, Willibald Schul­meis­ter, and the painter Franz Matsch, pro­found­ly influ­enced Otto Prutscher’s styl­is­tic devel­op­ment. From 1907 onwards, Otto Prutsch­er worked for the Wiener Werk­stät­ten. Like Josef Hoff­mann, he was both an archi­tect and a design­er, and from 1909, he also taught at the Vien­na School of Arts and Crafts. He was a mem­ber of the most impor­tant artist asso­ci­a­tions such as the Vien­na Seces­sion, the Wiener Werk­stät­ten, and the Werk­bund, among oth­ers. He also col­lab­o­rat­ed with and worked for the most sig­nif­i­cant Vien­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers of his era in var­i­ous fields. His incred­i­ble out­put in archi­tec­ture and design places him among the greats in the ranks of Vien­nese archi­tects and design­ers. Otto Prutsch­er played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the devel­op­ment of Vien­nese Mod­ernism.

Otto Prutsch­er was not only a busy archi­tect and one of Vien­na’s lead­ing arti­sans at the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry. In addi­tion to design­ing sev­er­al large res­i­den­tial com­plex­es in Vien­na, he pri­mar­i­ly planned pri­vate and com­mer­cial build­ings as well as cof­fee hous­es and their inte­ri­ors.

He designed inte­ri­ors for many afflu­ent fam­i­lies in Vien­na, which were exe­cut­ed by the most promi­nent pro­duc­ers of his time, such as Jacob & Josef Kohn, Thonet, Por­tois & Fix, or J. & L. Lob­meyr. Among oth­er things, he designed fur­ni­ture, porce­lain, glass­ware, cut­lery, met­al­work, jew­el­ry, watch­es, book cov­ers, and tex­tiles for the Wiener Werk­stät­ten asso­ci­a­tion.

His estate, which is now housed at the MAK — Muse­um of Applied Arts Vien­na, includes plans and archi­tec­tur­al pho­tographs as well as orig­i­nal designs for fur­ni­ture and dec­o­ra­tive objects. The muse­um ded­i­cat­ed its own exhi­bi­tion to him in 2019/2020 (Otto Prutsch­er. Allgestal­ter der Wiener Mod­erne, Novem­ber 20, 2019 – May 17, 2020).
Ref­er­ence link, Otto Prutsch­er. Uni­ver­sal Design­er of Vien­nese Mod­ernism”, MAK Vien­na, click here.

Prove­nance, doc­u­men­ta­tion, and images of the sev­en-flame candelabra:

From the Schedl­may­er Col­lec­tion. Lit­er­a­ture: Otto Prutsch­er Archive 1338; Duit, Schedl­may­er, Otto Prutsch­er, Vol­ume 2, p. 168, 169, Fig. No. 183 The Schedel­may­er Col­lec­tion, Exhi­bi­tion Cat­a­log — Leopold Muse­um, p. 70; Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts, Otto Prutsch­er, p. 41; MAK, Exhi­bi­tion Cat­a­log The Price of Beau­ty, p. 298, M 276, p. 428.

The Schedl­may­er Col­lec­tion. A Dis­cov­ery!
10.09.2021 – 20.02.2022

The Aus­tri­an col­lec­tor cou­ple Her­mi (1941 – 2018) and Fritz Schedl­may­er (1939 – 2013) brought togeth­er a top-class selec­tion of arts and crafts objects and works of art from the first half of the 20th cen­tu­ry. This large­ly unknown col­lec­tion will be pre­sent­ed to the pub­lic for the first time in autumn of 2021.

Watch video here.

Silberleuchter Otto Prutscher 04
Silver Candelabra, Otto Prutscher H: 45 cm, Dm: 39 cm
Silberleuchter Otto Prutscher 02
Silberleuchter Otto Prutscher 03