Artists often create works in many different mediums — ceramics, painting, sculpture, jewelry and even metalwork. After World War I, many artists traveled to different countries and schools to learn new “looks” and techniques. England, France, Germany and Scandinavia were leading art centers.
Vally Wieselthier (1895-1945) was famous in Germany by the 1920s but almost unknown in the United States. She was born in Austria and studied under Michael Powolny from 1914 to 1920, then continued working with the artists of the new Wiener Werkstatte. She was a leading ceramic artist and designer making figurines, female heads, vases and more.
In 1929, she moved to the U.S. and worked in New York making large ceramic statues and also designed dinnerware for the Sebring factory in Ohio; ironstone dinnerware designs for Mayer Pottery in Trenton, New Jersey; and worked at Cowan Pottery in Ohio, where she introduced the Wiener Werkstatte style. She also designed glassware, jewelry, textiles, papier-mache mannequins, furniture and even metal elevator doors. With all her success and fame, few pieces are seen in U.S. auctions. Neal Auction Company sold an 8-inch-high Wiener Werkstatte vase made in 1925 signed with both “WW” (Wiener Werkstatte) and “VW” (Vally Wieselthier) for $1,037.
Perfume lamps have been made in many different figural shapes and were made by manufacturers in several different countries. The lamp with a lightbulb, but without the perfume inside, is often used as a nightlight. Today a battery-operated or plug-in product, diffuser or spray can be used to provide a pleasant scent to a room.