PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED LADY
Thence directly by descent.
Berliner Architekturwelt, 1902, H. 2, S. 68;
Le Figaro, 22.3.1901.
The official handover of the cupboard took place on March 10, 1901 in the Berlin Hotel Der Kaiserhof, during a ceremony followed by a banquet. About 150 Paris exhibition participants came to the capital from all over Germany to thank Dr. Max Richter personally.
Alfred Grenander was a Swedish born architect who trained first in Stockholm and later in Berlin, where he made his name as the architect of dozens of elevated and underground train stations. A protégé of Henri van de Velde, he was a member and co-founder of the Deutscher Werkbund and designed a substantial number of interiors and furniture in Swedish homes. He was also a teacher at the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin from 1897 until his death in 1931. The more organic Art Nouveau style used by Grenander in this lot later developed into a geometric interpretation of the movement associated with the Scottish-English Arts and Crafts movement and the Vienna Secession in Austria.
Around 1900, the painter Arthur Kampf was considered one of the most promising artists of his time. Appreciated by conservative circles as well as admired by young artists, he studied at the Dusseldorf Art Academy and became known as the last German history painter of note. He led the studio for history painting at the Art Academy in Berlin, where he served as president for two occasions. He was also director of the School of Fine Arts in Berlin. He had a long career and his more famous works were illustrated in schoolbooks, sold in large editions as postcards and wall posters, and employed for purposes of propaganda.
The Berlin sculptor Otto Rohloff was one of the most renowned metal artists of his era and responsible for the bronze work on this cupboard. From 1891 onwards, Rohloff taught at the Royal Arts and Crafts Museum in Berlin and amongst other things, he created the copper reliefs in one of the most representative rooms of the Imperial capital, the White Hall of the Berlin City Palace. At the Paris World Exhibition, Rohloff was awarded the large gold medal for his work.
The tooled leather casket was made by the Imperial bookbinders, W. Collin. The owner, Max George Collin (1851-1918), developed the so-called "Collin leather", a coloured stained leather cutting, and was one of the most sought after book binders of the period. As was Arthur Kampf and Otto Rohloff, the Manufactory of Collin was one of the exhibitors at the Paris world exhibition of 1900.
We kindly thank Mr. Andreas Schroyen M.A. from Kulturservice Schroyen GbR in Düsseldorf for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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