An exceptional Austrian seccession silver tea and coffee service

Price: >£10,000+

It is fair to say I do not buy many tea or coffee sets, or much Austrian silver, but sometimes something so exceptional comes along that you have to break a few of your “rules” as a dealer and go for it.  This is just such an item.

For sale is this exceptional Austrian Seccessionist silver tea service made by Eduard Friedman c.1905.  The design is almost certainly by Hans Bolek, one of the leading Viennese designers of the time who was a close contemporary of Josef Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstatte, and is recorded as having his designs made by Eduard Friedman.  I will stick my neck out and say that you will not find a better tea and coffee service of the period outside of the Wiener Werkstatte.

The set weighs in at a hefty 9.4 kg or 331 oz and comprises a kettle with stand, teapot, coffee pot, hot milk jug, creamer and sugar.  All the lids, including the tray and side pieces to the kettle stand, carry Bolek’s classic Seccessionist/Hoffmann stylised leaf pattern.  The bodies are all designed with modernist ribbed silver, each of which stands on a slightly inset scalloped foot.  All pieces are marked with Eduard Friedman’s “Greek jug” maker’s mark and the Viennese Diana head Austrian assay mark for 800 standard silver 1899-1922.  All the lids and finials are also all correctly marked for Vienna.

Eduard Friedman was one of Vienna’s leading silversmith firms from c 1880-1920. They are documented as producing silver designs of Otto Prutscher, Hans Bolek and Emmanuel Josef Margold.

Hans Bolek was born in Vienna in 1890. He studied at the School for Applied Arts in Vienna under Josef Hoffmann, at the same time he also worked for Otto Prutscher’s architectural studio. In 1910 he started up his own business as an architect. Bolek was also a designer of furniture, jewellery and glassware. Although he was not a member of the Wiener Werkstätte, he was very close to it in terms of style. He is probably best-known for his glass designs, which includes his work for the renowned company of “Glasmanufaktur Loetz Witwe, Klostermühle”. Designs in silver by him are rare. Hans Bolek died in 1978 at the age of 88 in his hometown Vienna.

The set is in really excellent original condition.  The tray shows some scratches and that is really the only signs of wear or use.  The set  is a very heavy gauge of silver and beautifully made.  The kettle stand has one screw replaced to the underside of the base (not visible). The original ivory insulators have all been replaced with holly wood.

Individual weights by item are: Tray 3.7 kg (approx), kettle 1.614 kg, kettle stand 1.384 kg, tea pot 0.894 kg, coffee pot 0.630 kg, hot milk jug 0.504 kg, sugar 0.479 kg, creamer 7.9 kg.

Maker: Eduard Friedman

Designer:  Hans Bolek (attrib).

Date: c. 1905-10

Marks: Friedman mark, Diana and Vienna assay mark

Material: 800 silver standard

Condition: Excellent

Size: Tray 79 x 47 cm, kettle on stand 45 cm high, coffee pot 21.5 cm high

Weight: Total  9.4 kg, 331.5 oz (approx)

SKU: A1465-1 Category:

Additional information


Art nouveau, Arts and crafts