This is a truly magnificent museum quality German 800 silver and gilded Jugendstil centerpiece, beautifully decorated with elegantly flowing floral forms and prominently featuring a lovely female figure dressed in a form-fitting robe and carrying an artfully draped scarf. The centerpiece has been expertly crafted, all the surfaces showing the quintessential whiplash curves of the Art Nouveau movement and conveying a lively sense of movement and style throughout. The base, in particular, conveys the very essence of Art Nouveau with its curvilinear shape and elegantly formed handles, all prettily embellished with sinuously curving stylized floral forms. Garlands of pretty flowers extend outwards from the handles towards the central column, each surrounding an oval gilded bowl which can be removed from the base if desired. The sensuously organic elements extend gracefully upwards to support a large removable circular bowl with a gilded interior and a scalloped edge encircled by wreaths and garlands. As they rise they form a distinctive openwork column enclosing and showcasing the exquisite figure of a young maiden. She is wearing a beaded choker and a long beaded necklace which evocatively invoke the fashion of the Fin-de-Siecle, a flowing sash is tied around her waist and she has a swirling scarf held behind her back. In one hand she holds a heart-shaped mirror with which she is serenely admiring the beauty of her lovely reflection. Every detail of this stylish young lady has been meticulously crafted; her beautifully tousled upswept hair, her finely chiseled and realistic facial features and the folds of her flowing gown all showing exceptional skill and precision together with truly masterful attention to detail. This is a superb example of the German Jugendstil at its very best and would be a worthy addition to any collection of Art Nouveau silver. It would also be of interest to any connoisseur of magnificent and distinctive silver of the very finest quality and would make a definitive and sophisticated design statement in any setting. It is in perfect, pristine condition with a soft and pleasing patina which provides a distinctive contrast with the gilding of the two lower bowls and the interior of the upper bowl. It is clearly stamped on the lower base with a pattern number, the number 800 (depicting 800/1000 parts fine silver), the German crescent and moon symbol present on all 800 silver pieces produced after 1888, and the identifying mark of the makers, M.H. Wilkens & Sohne from the city of Hemeligen. It measures approx. 33” x 14’ x 23 ½’ tall and weighs a substantial 194 troy ounces.
Stock #: BD334