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Scarab Antiques


Peter Behrens (attrib.) for Osiris Art Nouveau pewter & glass grotesque bird decanter

This is an absolutely fantastic & beautifully proportioned decanter. Made by Osiris dung the period 1901 - 1909, the pewter decanter is shaped as a grotesque bird with a green glass body and green glass eyes. The head is hinged and opens to form the lid and the wings form the solid handle. The base is stamped "Osiris 1051" and has the "NH" monogram for the Nurnberger Handwerkskunst. The design is attributed to Peter Behrens.

Approximate dimensions:
Weight: 1lb 7.4ozs - 664gms
Height: 9.45ins - 24cms
Width: 5.79ins - 14.7cms
Diameter of base: 3.39ins - 8.6cms

Osiris Metallwarenfabrik
The Osiris Metallwarenfabrik was founded by father & son Friedrich & Walter Scherf in 1899 in Nuremberg.
Walter had previously worked for Orivit from whom he took both employees and ideas. In 1902 Walter Sherf developed a new type of pewter the “ISIS” metal and from 1902 to 1905 Osiris won medals at Turin, St. Petersburg (gold) St Louis (1st & 2nd prizes) Cape Town (gold).
By 1909 the firm was almost bankrupt and in that year Walter Scherf committed suicide bringing the company to an end.

The master classes at the Bayerisches Gewerbemuseum in Nuremberg were set up in 1901 as part of the Museum's brief to encourage development in all branches of the applied and industrial arts. The classes were directed by Peter Behrens and designs approved by the museum received the trade mark as it appears on this decanter. (For further information see Judy Rudoe, Decorative Arts 1850-1950, p.18-19.)

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