This delightful silver-plated bon-bon dish featuring a simple and elegant design was manufactured by WMF (1) in Germany in the early 1910’s. Being a Biedermeier style piece, it is decorated with garlands of laurel leaves and flowers. Behind it, there is an oil on canvas painting by Carlos Miranda.
(1) WMF (Wurttembergische Metalwaren Fabrik) was by 1900 the world’s largest producer and exporter of household metal ware, mainly in classic Biedermeier and Rococo styles, very popular Jugendstil and Art Nouveau, and new twentieth-century German designs.
These images are used to show examples of WMF dishes:
“Bieder”: worthy, sedate, staid, also petit-bourgeois.
“Meier” : one of the commonest German surnames.
Biedermeier was an influential style from Germany and Austria during the years 1815 (Vienna Congress) and 1848 (the year of the European revolutions), based on utilitarian principles. The furniture, decorative arts, and paintings of the period reflected the taste of the newly emerging bourgeoisie. Emphasizing less extravagant means, a new standard of beauty was created through simplicity, proportion, utility and elegance. The Biedermeier style was a simplified interpretation of the influential French Empire Style of Napoleon I. The same style was known as Regency in England, Restoration in France, and Later Federal in USA, but Biedermeier was less ornate. The term became absorbed into foreign languages and from that point on signified a typically German style.
This style is associated with Germany’s greatest poet: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).
In 1776 Goethe stated that the power poetry (Dichtungskraft) needs an environment of familiarity and intimacy (Vertraulichkeit, Bedürfnis, Innigkeit).
“Ah, this charm is absent from the halls of the palaces of the great and from their gardens, which have been created but as passage ways, as places in which vanity displays itself. The power of poetry only lives where familiarity, necessity and intimacy reign. Woe to the artist who leaves his hut to court distraction in the palaces of the academics.” “After Falconet and about Falconet” 1776
“Ach dieser Zauber ist’s, der aus den Sälen der Großen und aus ihren Gärten flieht, die nur zum Durchstreifen, nur zum Schauplatz der aneinander hinwischenden Eitelkeit ausstaffiert und beschnitten sind. Nur da, wo Vertraulichkeit, Bedürfnis, Innigkeit wohnen, wohnt alle Dichtungskraft, und weh dem Künstler, der seine Hütte verläßt, um in den akademischen Pranggebäuden sich zu verflattern! “Nach Falconet und über Falconet” 1776
He was born in Córdoba, Argentina. His artwork is mostly made up of drawings and paintings around the social theme with forays into fantasy.