Red Onyx Dish (Ashtray) with Bronze Figures of Mouse and Snail
Signed by Gustav Gurschner
Material: red onyx and bronze
Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 6 cm
Maker: Gustav Gurschner
Origin: Vienna, Austria
Period: 1900 - 1910
This oval dish or ashtray made of red onyx with intricate vein is distinguished by the unusual and somewhat bizarre composition of naturalistically rendered bronze figures of mouse and snail. The artefact is made by Gustav Gurschner and the artist’s signature is incised on the tail of the snail. It was created during the period when artist was actively involved in the revolutionary artistic movement known as Vienna Secession.
Gustav Gurschner (1873 – 1970), long-lived and prolific Austrian artist primarily was a sculptor and then a designer of innovative decorative objects conceived as equal art works according to the avant-garde ideas emerging at the turn of the 19th century. After successful studies at College for Arts and Crafts in Vienna and brief stay in Munich where he mastered himself as a sculptor, in 1897 Gurschner moved to Paris where he started to create sculptures and fascinating decorative objects strongly influenced by French Art Nouveau movement. Hence it was only natural that Gurschner was among the first members of Viennese Secession and that after the split within Austrian avant-garde movement he became member of the French orientated Hagenbund. Besides, as one of the prominent and acclaimed artists, who not only regularly participated at innovative exhibitions of Viennese Secession and latter Hagenbund, but distinguished him self as a sculptor portraying among others members oh the imperial family and working on important stately monuments, Gurschner was appointed for cultural councillor of Vienna, honourable councillor of the Viennese House of Artists and president of Artist Federation of Austrian Sculptors. Regarding his career as a representative of Art Nouveau or Secession style it is noteworthy to add that in 1902 at the International Exhibition in Torino his works were represented in three pavilions – Austrian, German and French; the iconic Parisian commercial – art store “Maison Moderne” introduced in its output his artefacts such as electric lamps with sculpted bronze stands; and when he exhibited with other French artists in the Champ de Mars Salons, Musée Galleria acquired few of his works including the door knocker – object which generally was very inspirational for Gurschner as a designer.
All the presented dates are given to the best of our knowledge. For all further information please contact us.
For further riding about Gustav Gurschner life and work please see Essay by Dr. Franz Windisch - Graetz.