rock crystal, silver-gilt, opaque and transparent enamel, emeralds

height 50.2 cm

Karl Rössler entered into business in Vienna in 1890 and is recorded at various addresses until 1908. Following the example of Hermann Ratzersdorfer, whose enamel and mounted crystal objects had attracted much attention at the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition, Rössler specialised in ‘Antique-imitation’. Rössler’s output, like that of his contemporary Hermann Böhm, lacks Ratzersdorfer’s refinement of conception and finish; its impact depends upon the drama of the first impression rather than the quiet delight of close scrutiny. Also like Böhm, Rössler used pre-fabricated elements to construct these Prunkstücke, thus permitting multiple production.

Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 240, pp. 348–9.