This vase was designed and made by Hilda Jesser. Jesser attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Vienna from 1914 until 1917 where she took classes with members of the Wiener Werkstätte whom she designed for from 1916 to 1921. During her time as a student at the Kunstgewerbeschule she primarily focused on fashion and textiles, but designed in many areas for the Wiener Werkstätte including glass, ceramics, and metalwork.
She moved from the Wiener Werkstätte back to the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna in 1922 where she was an assistant professor until 1935 when she was made a full professor. This vase was created in 1932 during her time as a professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule, after the end of the Wiener Werkstätte. The color palate shown here is similar to those works that she designed while working with the Wiener Werkstätte, where she was known for her innovative glazing techniques.
The front of the vase shows a flying horse against a pink background with the phrase “Volks-Zeitung,” which means the people’s, or national, newspaper, while the back of the vase has a lyre over the phrase “Dem Jüngsten,” meaning the youngest, over the number 80, with the date July 9, 1932 below against a blue background. At the bottom of the vase is a pile of books with an inkwell on top, perhaps as a reference to writing for a newspaper.
Werner J. Schweiger, Wiener Werkstaette: Design in Vienna, 1903-1932 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984): 105.
Audrey Sutton is a graduate student in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies program at the Cooper Hewitt and a Fellow in the Product Design and Decorate Arts Department.