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About This Artwork
Yellow Pressed Glass Tea Service for Leerdam, c. 1924
Robert Allerton Purchase Fund, 2009.555.1-18
Architecture and Design
Not on Display
Dutch glass manufacturer Leerdam was known in the early 20th century for its promotion of technology, fair working conditions, and good design for the masses. The company often commissioned noted architects to produce lines of glassware, including this striking tea service designed by Piet Zwart and architect H. P. Berlage. Based on the geometries of the hexagon and circle, this set of bright yellow pressed-glass dishware was dimensioned so that lids and saucers could be used interchangeably. Berlage was one of the first modern architects in the Netherlands, and he was also active in the allied fields of furniture, wallpaper, and tableware design. Although the set was distinctive in color and geometric form, it followed Berlage’s ideal that objects be rich in visual information, but produced without applied ornament. Zwart went on to become a pioneer of advanced typographic design, affiliated with the Dutch group De Stijl and other groups in the international avant-garde.