A rare piece of Vienna Secession history will be auctioned off at the end of the month- a stencil created by Koloman Moser and used for the Founder’s edition of Ver Sacrum.
Shortly after the The first official meeting of the Secession on June 21, 1897, Moser began to work on the designs for the Ver Sacrum- the official magazine of the Vienna Secession from 1898 to 1903. The magazine exemplified the Secessionist’s idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) whereby the applied arts, painting, poetry and music were all given attention. Moser also pioneered new techniques in graphic design such as the use of modular grid (well suited to the magazine’s unique square format) and custom typography.
There was also a Founder’s edition in 1898 and 1899- a limited-edition version which was not for sale and which featured unique stencilled prints and etchings. Auctionata AG auction house in Berlin will be auctioning of one of these rare stencils on November 30, 2015. Likely influenced by Japanese paper and fabric patterns, Moser began experimenting with paper stencils during the early years of the secession, his best example being the cover for the 4th issue of Ver Sacrum in 1899. The paper stencil of female head was used for the founder’s edition of 1899 though a similar version of it can be found in a study Moser did for the Founder’s edition of 1898. It is not known how many versions of this stencil were created though the Leopold Museum in Vienna currently holds a second version of it in their collection.