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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Germany, since 1929

  • Literature

    Klaus Weber, Die Metallwerkstatt am Bauhaus, exh. cat., Bauhaus-Archiv Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, 1992, cover and p. 112, fig. 40 and pp. 142-143, figs. 40-43 for similar examples; Magdalena Droste and Bauhaus Archiv, Bauhaus: 1919-1933, Cologne, 1993, p. 76 for similar examples; Neue Welten – Deutsche und Österreichische Kunst 1890-1940, exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York, 2001, p. 535 for a similar example of the milk jug

  • Catalogue Essay

    After just five years under the instruction of László Moholy-Nagy, Marianne Brandt succeeded him as director of the Bauhaus’ acclaimed metal workshop.  At the time, it was considered more appropriate for women to study textile design; as the first woman to work in, much less to direct, the metal workshop, Brandt was resented by many of her male peers.  It was during this time that she conceived and refined her design for the present lot, her iconic tea infuser and accompanying objects.  Of this period, Brandt has said, “How many little hemispheres did I most patiently hammer out of brittle new silver, thinking that was the way it had to be and all beginnings are hard.“  The striking geometry of the tea infuser and its accompanying items owe something to her mentor’s fascination with Russian Constructivist forms, but also to the sleek, streamlined, machine-age aesthetic that the Bauhaus would come to embrace under the direction of its founder, Walter Gropius.  Brandt took the oft-repeated slogan “form follows function“ to heart, as she was known to test each tea infuser individually.  Because her design was not able to be produced industrially, Brandt’s boldly modern tea infuser has become even more valuable because so few of them remain. 
     
    There are four known examples of this tea infuser, one example in silver, currently in the collection of the Bauhaus Berlin, one example in nickel-plated metal in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, one example in tombak in the Bauhaus Weimar and the present lot.

69

Important and rare three-piece tea set

ca. 1925
Tea infuser: silver-plated brass, ebony, metal; milk jug: brass, silver-plated brass, ebony; sugar bowl: brass, nickel-plated brass. 
Tea infuser: 6 1/4 in. high (15.9 cm)
Milk jug: 4 in. high (10.2 cm)
Sugar Bowl: 1 1/2 x 6 5/8 x 4 5/8 in.(3.8 x 16.8 x 11.7 cm)

Produced at the Staatliches Bauhaus, Germany.  Base of milk jug and sugar bowl impressed with “BAUHAUS.” Comprising tea infuser, milk jug and sugar bowl (3).

Estimate
$250,000 - 300,000 

Design

12 June 2008, 2pm
New York