The enjoyment of tobacco is a social event. Over a civilised pipe or cigar, many an issue can be discussed in peace. And so it came to be that the architect Max Michael Oswald ordered two hand-painted smoker figurines as wall decorations for the fireplace corner of the “Patria” steamboat’s first class section. The occasion was used to decorate the elegant appearance of Josef Wackerle’s “Smoker with tobacco jar” with its blue-white ornamental painting, a characteristic that remains to this very day.
In 1924, as Josef Wackerle designed this elegantly dressed gentleman with pipe for the fireplace of the steamship “Patria”, smoking was still permitted in all public places. Nonetheless, many people often preferred to retreat into specially equipped rooms, where they could enjoy their passion for tobacco in peace. The intricately designed fireplace corner with bar, located in the first class section of the grandiose passenger ship, was one such place. Here, alongside the “Smoker with dog” wall decoration, was the “Smoker with tobacco jar”, a second figure by Wackerle.
When Wolfgang von Wersin designed this ashtray for the Nymphenburg manufactory in 1933, smoking was a social virtue. And even though the attitude towards enjoying tobacco has changed in many areas, this piece remains simply brilliant. Thanks to its strict geometry, the interplay between highs and lows, and the tension between the round and the angled, it is yet to lose its contemporary feel. With designs of this class, von Wersin rightly joined the elite of The New Objectivity in the annals of design history.
Whether smoker or non-smoker, this design by Wolfgang von Wersin is simply brilliant: a round dish, split into four sections, two of them recessed. In addition to cigarettes, both of these grooved trays can serve as perfect holders for pencils and paper clips. The black and red colour, designed by von Wersin himself in 1933, add further emphasis to the strict line layout of this 13 centimetre wide masterpiece.
The enjoyment of a cigar has become a celebratory act. Just keeping the cigar lit requires a lot of experience and intuition, and selecting the correct accessories also plays a decisive role. With this in mind, Konstantin Grcic designed this constructivist cigar ashtray with rests in 1999. The two rests of this 22 centimetre wide dish offer the perfect resting place for the Havana, resplendent with a hand-drawn tobacco leaf beneath.
When Elector Max II Joseph – the “Much-loved” – founded the Nymphenburg manufactory in 1747, he was not just interested in economic gains. First and foremost, he wanted to uncover the secret of porcelain manufacture, something which he ultimately achieved. This cleared the way for the most delightful pieces made from china clay, quartz and feldspar. To this day, one of the manufactory’s specialities remains the production of fine lattices. During this process, openings such as in the lid of this richly decorated rocaille box are cut out by hand using scalpels, before being glazed.
Admittedly, everyone is looking to beat the advertising drum these days – whether private individual, politician, football coach or award-winning chef – which is why the manufactory’s workshops produce these small, handmade drums in a broad spectrum of colours: black and yellow with golden cords could, for instance, lead the fanfare parade of the German coalition parties, or even that of the eleven players of Dortmund Football Club under the management of Jürgen Klopp. However, those who have not yet decided can choose the unpainted variation in pure white to begin with.
Bavaria does it: from the Rhineland in the west to Sylt in the north, more and more traditional costumes are being worn in Germany and accessories are showing up in many places, telling tales of the simple life near the Alpine border. The best example of this is the small, blue-white porcelain drum, which delights those from the Rhineland in particular: these little drums are enormously popular in the Rhineland strongholds of “Karneval”. Anyone who has ever seen Cologne’s Rose Monday Parade will know about the magical power that a fiery and loud samba rhythm holds.