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The aforementioned Portois & Fix, furniture designers and manufacturers, were major producers of work for the Viennese Secession, Austrian component of the larger Art Nouveau movement.

Otto Wagner, in whose office several of the younger members of the movement gained some of their early office experience, designed many of the most representative buildings of this more reserved branch of Art Nouveau design, and from his office issued “graduates” such as Josef Hoffman, Joseph Maria Olbrich and others less well known but equally important for the ethos of Vienna in the early 20th century.

Artists also were integral players in the Secession: Gustav Klimt, for example. But many of the more pervasive contributions came from Koloman Moser who worked in several media, including graphic design, glass and stained glass, jewelry, ceramic, and, in this case, furniture; Moser collaborated with many of his architectural contemporaries. While searching for images of the Portois & Fix building, I also ran across this elegant piece of Moser’s work, which sold at Christie’s or Sotheby’s auction house for more money than the cost of my house. Nothing, repeat, NOTHING as nice as this is likely to have materialized in Agincourt, sad to say. But that doesn’t mean its citizens couldn’t dream—as can I.





PS: I looked it up. The auction occurred at Christie’s (London) in November 2002. The winning bid? £116,650 ($181,507) What would it bring today, do you think?


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