Jewel Box

Josef Maria Olbrich, ca. 1901
H. 40cm – W. 20cm – D. 17cm

Jewelry coffer, ca. 1901

Ebonized pearwood, mother-of-pearl, ivory, alpaca

Made by Robert Macco

h. 153/4 in. (40 cm) – w. 77/8 in. (20 cm) – d. 63/4 in. (17 cm)


Presumably made for the house of Georg Keller,

Alexandraweeg 31, Darmstadt – Untraced for most

of the XXth century – Collection of Pierre Eden,

Brussels, ca. 1990 – Yves Macaux, Brussels, until

2008 – European Private Collection, 2008-2022.

Similar pieces

There are five examples of this design known

today, including the one o ered here. Three were

made in light brown wood, while ours is one of

only two made in ebonized wood. The jewelry

co er was originally desiged for Grand Duke of

Hesse-Darmstadt Ernst Ludwig. His example, the

only other ebonized one known, is still in the

Hesse-Darmstadt family collection (Hessische

Hausstiftung Kronberg, Inv-Nr WO K 8102). The

three light-colored co ers are in the collections of

the Museum Künsterkolonie in Darmstadt, the Los

Angeles County Museum of Art (Inv. M2011.128.24)

and a European private collection.


‘Wohnraüm, Haus Keller, Darmstadt’, in Ideen von

Olbrich, 1901, plate 111 – Peter Haïko and Bernard

Krimmel, Joseph Maria Olbrich : Architecture,

1988, page 134 (for a similar piece) – Exhibition

Catalog, Joseph M. Olbrich, 1867-1908, Darmstadt

Mathildenhöhe, 1983, page 372 – Exhibition

Catalog, Joseph Maria Olbrich : 1867 – 1908 :

Architekt und Gestalter der frühen Moderne,

Leopold Museum, 2010, page 297 (for two similar



A preparatory drawing of this co er by Olbirch is in

the Berlin Kunstbibliothek (Inv. OZ224-046), on a

sheet of paper with Darmstadt Kunstkolonie


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