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Marianne Brandt trained as a painter, but she made a name for herself with reductivist and geometric forms that appear machine-made. Despite appearances, many of her most famous designs were hand-fabricated, including this tea infuser. This example was originally owned by Hajo Rose, a German photographer and graphic designer who was a fellow student at the Bauhaus. The reddish-hued half-sphere of the pot, made of tombac (an alloy of brass, copper, and zinc) with a silver strainer for the tea, is dramatically bisected with dark geometrical elements crafted from polished ebony. The choice of materials--tombac for its heat-retention properties and ebony to keep it cool enough to handle--exemplifies the pot's utilitarian nature.

Details

  • Title: Tea infuser, model no. MT 49
  • Creator: Marianne Brandt
  • Creator Nationality: German
  • Date Created: 1927
  • Provenance: Hajo Rose, Berlin and Leipzig; Estate of Hajo Rose; Private Collection; Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg, New York, Pre-War 20-21st Century Design, December 11, 2002, lot 90; Neue Galerie New York, December 2002, acquired from the above
  • Physical Dimensions: 7.8 x 15.1 x 10.1 cm
  • Medium: Tombac, ebony; silver
  • Art Movement: Bauhaus

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