A very rare and important figure of 'Salome' holding the head of John The Baptist crafted in Austria. The figure is the work of Karl Klaus (1889-1925) and was crafted by the maker Ernst Wahliss around 1911. The figure depicts Salome, daughter of Herod II and Heordius, standing tall whilst reclining her neck, holding in her hands the severed head of John the Baptist. Richly decorated in a restrained palette of black, white, indigo blue, red and gold the figure is undeniably decorated in the Secessionist taste. Klaus was a student of Josef Hofmann and designed several figures and decorative pieces for Ernst Wahliss under the label 'Serapis Wahliss'. The figure is marked to the inside with the 'Serapis Wahliss' mark along with some registration marks and a rubbed overglaze 'signature' of some kind.
Ernst Wahliss by the end of the 19th Century was Vienna's leading porcelain and ceramics retailer. In 1894 he purchased a porcelain factory and began creating his own works under the name 'Ernst Wahliss Kunst, Porzellan und Fayence Fabrik' in Bohemia, today part of the Czech Republic. After Ernst's death his son Gerhard Martin Wahliss continued under his father's name and introduced in 1911 the 'Serapis Wahliss' range of white earthenware decorated in richly coloured enamels and motifs in keeping with the Secessionist taste of the time.
The figure is in wonderful condition for a piece of its age. The piece has no chips or cracks and remains free from 'crazing' or structural issues. There is one area of note to the chin of Salome which has what is believed to be a firing/glazing flaw and not later damage, however from the time of manufacture. There is minimal wear to the gilt finish on the figure and in general the piece is in lovely condition.
Measures - 29cm H x 9cm Diameter at the base