Modern silver accessories are the finishing touches to any well-designed room. They hit just the right note, saying that this is a home with sophisticated taste. I’ve written about many of my favorite silversmiths over the years, but luckily I just keep finding more talent to add to my list. Today we look to Vienna, the cultural heart of Europe, where young burgeoning talent is creating some amazing modern silver accessories by drawing on the rich heritage of their past while infusing their creations with a completely modern and fresh aspect.
The Wiener Silber Manufactur has roots tracing back to 1882 and holds an archive of over 11,000 original designs they re-issue in limited editions. But not one to rest on their laurels, they also encourage new talent to stretch the limits of their creativity to design amazing modern silver accessories. Today I feature 2 beautiful re-issued pieces and one drop-dead creative and current design which I give a thumbs-up!
I promise you if you buy just one great piece of silver, you can’t go wrong with an elegant water pitcher. It will serve your most formal dinner and carry on over to more casual afternoons out on the terrace where you can serve iced tea or lemonade. In a pinch, a silver water pitcher can also fill in as a vase for flowers to add a little drama to a room.
The Wiener Silber Manufactur’s pitcher by Otto Prutscher from the 1930s (main image) has an unusual flowing faceted body that beautifully reflects light. And the gold wash of the interior gives a rich warm feeling. With a completely different look and feel, this stunner by Oswald Haerdtl from 1954 (above) has a much more carefree and casual look. To me, this pitcher resembles corrugated cardboard – a humble material transformed in silver into this showstopper.
Because I am a firm believer that a dining table needs a great silver centerpiece to be properly dressed, I have to say that I have fallen completely for this Curls Bowl created by Tino Valentinitsch in 2011. Inspired by the hairstyles of Viennese ladies in the Biedermeier era of the 1820s, I can see this bowl brimming with fruit, where the colors will show through the ringlets. The polished domed base causes the curls to repeat in an endless cascade. I like something where a classic form is updated with a new and unexpected look, just like the Curls Bowl.
I’m always on the lookout for modern silver accessories. It’s a case where one great piece finishes a room perfectly. And like contemporary furniture design, I think it’s important to encourage and support new talent. Remember, well designed and executed pieces today will become tomorrow’s sought after antiques!
richard rabel | principal | richard rabel: interiors + art | interior design and art advising | new york city
image credits: Wiener Silber Manufactur, Vienna