An earthenware covered box attributed to Karl Klaus for the Ernst Wahliss "Serapis-Wahliss" line, this charming piece features delicate hand-painted decoration in cobalt, silver, and green over a white glaze. The lid is embellished with a hexagonal pattern of beaded silver lines that form a playful screen over stylized white and green flowers. Subtle in its stylistic allusions, the ornament of the base resembles an antique colonnade (pared down to schematic lines and rhythmic repetitions) supporting an architectural dome. Others may see magnified cells, Persian spirals, or an arrangement of Turkish evil eye beads. Ernst Wahliss's use of the name Serapis (a Hellenistic-Egyptian god) for the "Serapis-Fayence" and "Serapis-Wahliss" lines, implies intentional links to antiquity.
Signature: Mark: Manufacturer's stamp / written in gold ink F9601 S9673.
About Ernst Wahliss
By the late 1880s, merchant Ernst Wahliss had established himself as Vienna's leading retailer in porcelain goods. In 1894, he purchased the Alfred Stellmacher factory in Turn-Teplitz, Bohemia, and began to produce decorative ceramics under the name Ernst Wahliss Kunst-, Porzellan- und Fayence-Fabrik. By 1907 his son Gerhard Martin Wahliss owned the factory and continued to create a variety of functional and decorative items in earthenware and porcelain. [Source: Jason Jacques]
Austrian, 1836-1950, Vienna, Austria