Dagobert Peche's Small Giltwood Mirror
This circa 1922 mirror was designed by Dagobert Peche and fabricated by
craftsman Max Welz for the Wiener Werkstätte. Courtesy H.M. Luther.
Few design exhibitions have opened
my eyes more widely than the Neue Galerie’s 2002 show “Dagobert Peche and the
Wiener Werkstätte.” And no single work in the show opened my eyes more
than this small giltwood mirror, measuring 19 ½ by 18 ½ inches and made sometime
around 1922. Compared to titans of Austrian design such as Josef Hoffmann and
Adolf Loos, Peche has earned little of history’s attention—too little. Hoffmann
himself described Peche as “the greatest ornamental genius Austria has produced
since the Baroque.” The mirror, or a period duplicate, is currently on sale at H.M. Luther, a dealer in New York City’s
Carlyle Hotel. If I had $50,000-plus to spare, it’d be hanging on my own wall.