Vase, c. 1897

Model No. 584

Glazed earthenware Reissner, Stellmacher & Kessel (RSt&K), Turn-Teplitz, Bohemia, Austria, 1892–1905

Designer: Nikolas Kannhäuser, Austrian, 1871–after 1900

H. 9 1/2 in. (PO-028-84)

For devotees of Art Nouveau, the female form was the perfect expression of nature. This theme is exquisitely manifest in an Amphora vase by Reissner, Stellmacher & Kessel. Made of glazed earthenware, the vase shows a dense forest scene on one side. On the other, a woman’s face is framed by trees. Her large, deep-set eyes, delicate lips, and hair adorned with blossoms present an idealized portrait of the feminine and the woods and flowers around her face marry her form with nature. Amphora porcelain was manufactured by RSt&K in Turn-Teplitz, Bohemia, near Dresden, Germany. Hans and Carl Reissner, Edward Stellmacher, and Rudolf Kessel founded the ceramics company on September 1, 1892. Each partner contributed his own expertise to the field of ceramics production, and the firm’s Amphora line was an early success. Known for superb craftsmanship, Amphora ceramics are highly collectible today. In 1893 RSt&K received top honors for its work at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago—the same world’s fair where Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) exhibited the chapel interior now on view at the Morse. RSt&K also received a grand prize at the 1904 world’s fair in St. Louis.