Bohemian Amphora splendour

Geometric patterned vessel with twon handles - art nouveauIn some ways the Art Nouveau movement was one of the original environmental movements. Quite a few of the artists  around the 1900’s reacted to the rapid spread of the Industrial Revolution by focusing on nature imagery and fantasy worlds which became  an ongoing theme with the Art Nouveau designers. Architects, ceramicists and painters seemed to be lamenting a lost idyllic era. This was exacerbated by the stepping up of the industrial machine during WW1. The literary works of  William Morris and JRR Tolkein, recreating legends and fantasy tales, were also inspired by similar motives.

White horse in the woods painting

Amphora Art Nouveau porcelain production

The Amphora porcelain works existed from 1892-1945 in the Teplitz-Turn area of Bohemia, a part of Austro-Hungary. In their half a century of production, Amphora became known as a fine art pottery manufacturer of exceptional quality. They produced a plethora of innovative designs and shapes with a high level of detail, and were considered by many to exemplify the Art Nouveau style. The designs were generally influenced by Art Nouveau and Jugensdtil, as well as Grueby and Rockwood. Their creations were graced with hand-painted mythical creatures, ethereal maidens, beautiful nature scenes with birds, bats, plum trees, insects, clover, roses and  forests all entwined with  sweeping lines and flowing details. This was the contemporary design of the day, leaving the more staid Victorian era in its wake. A  never ending array of forms, glazes and decorations typified the Amphora ceramic designs. Cinema was still in its infancy and print publications didn’t have the glossy quality we see now, so the visual impact of  high quality, colour enriched ceramics with stunning imagery and designs would have been considerable.

Pterodactyl Vase by Amphora

Pterodactyls Vase by Amphora
circa 1897

A re-appreciation of individual craftsmanship, under threat from industrial manufacturing, also emerged at this time, and the intricate detail of the designs supported this ideal. In 1896, Amphora were made court supplier to the Imperial court in Vienna, and these pieces were identified with the name ‘Imperial Amphora’, and the Austro-Hungarian eagle trademark. Also the additional mark PD indicates it was designed by Paul Dachsel, one of their earliest and finest designers, who helped define the distinctive Amphora style. Another early Amphora art pottery designer who enjoyed success beyond the confines of Europe was Ernst Wahliss of Turn-Wein, Austria. He produced  some of the most beautiful female Art Nouveau busts between 1897 and 1906, which are highly sought by collectors today given their beauty and technical complexity. Wahliss was somewhat unique among the Amphora manufacturers for having established his own retail shops in London and Vienna. Another well known, high quality Amphora manufacturer was the firm of Julius Dressler whose manufacturing operation was founded in Belia, Bohemia in 1883 and operated until 1944. Amphora was sold in the United States by finer decorating shops including Louis Comfort Tiffany of New York, who appreciated the innovative, hand crafted designs, vibrant colors, and unique glazes used by the Amphora manufacturers from Turn-Teplitz, Bohemia. Amphora works from this period were extraordinarily complex in manufacturing technique, often requiring as many as 10 firings, a series of decorators, and finishers to add the final style flourishes like gilding.

The Amphora era was truly a remarkable phase for Art Nouveau. Their imaginative aesthetic reflected both Celtic and Bohemian folklore, merged with the classical influences of Greek and Roman legends and the Arthurian tales. One can’t help but be filled with a reverence for the beauty they expressed.


Amphora art nouveau ceramic vase

 Amphora Vase
circa 1903

( Amphora Pottery – Facebook )

Chalice by Paul Dachsel with large twin handles

Chalice by Paul Dachsel ( he left Amphora in 1905 )- 8.5″ high
Bohemia, circa 1906

Auktionshaus Mehlis, Germany



Amphora art nouveau pine cone vase with a bronze base

Art Nouveau pottery vase with bronze mount by Paul Dachsel for Amphora

( Image used through courtesy of Morgan Strickland Antiques: link here )



Oriental Pheasant vase - Amphora 1900

Oriental Pheasant –  Amphora 1904


( Treadways Auctions )



The Artichoke art nouveau sculpture by Paul Dachsel

The Artichoke by Paul Dachsel
Bohemia ( post Amphora ), circa 1906



Paul Dachsel Purple Pine Cone Vase from Taplitz

Paul Dachsel Purple Pine Cone Vase
Teplitz, Austria, 1906

Two female figures in gold satin gowns candle holders with turquoise highlights by Ernst-Wahliss

Pair of Ernst Wahliss designed  Maidens with Water Lily Candlesticks

Dreamy lady with lillies - art nouveau figurineLady with Lilies by Amphora



Art Nouveau vase with incised surface patterns

Amphora Vase
Bohemia, circa 1902

( Blanchards Auctions )



Curvy Paul Dachsel vase in Art Nouveau

Dragonflies by Paul Dachsel ( post Amphora )
Bohemia, circa 1906



Green and pink art nouveau vase with spiral motifs

Secessionist Vase by Amphora
Bohemia, circa 1901

( Treadways )



Gold twin handled vase by Paul Dachsel with green highlights

Paul Dachsel Vase

Art Nouveau vase with large leaf decorations in red, green and gold

Amphora Vase
circa 1900

Water lily maiden vessel - art nouveau

Water Lily Figural Vase by Amphora
Bohemia, circa 1900

( Treadways Auctions )

Amphora vase with Klimt decorations on gold and white

Klimt Series by Amphora
Bohemia, circa 1904
10 3/4″ high
( Sloans & Kenyon )

Amphora vase with a dragon decorative motif in greens and gold

Eastern Dragon vase by Amphora



Tree like art nouveau vase with branch handles

Art Nouveau vase


Exquisite Klimt styles Amphora footed vase

Amphora Klimt Jeweled Vase

Pair-of-Paul-Dachsel art nouveau vases with gold highlights

Pair of  Paul Dachsel two handled vases.

( Amphora Ceramics )

Amphora vase with red top mushrooms in a forest

Mushroom Vase by Paul Dachsel
Bohemia, circa 1906




Teplitz Turn Amphora-RStK-Art-Nouveau-Vase with rose motifs

Teplitz Turn Amphora vase



Art Nouveau vase with gold lioness figure on the edge

Amphora Lioness Vase – 1900



Amphora spiderweb/butterfly art nouveau vase

Spiderweb and Butterfly – ” Semiramis ” three handled vase

Paul Dachsel Amphora 1905

( Christies )

Art Nouveau vase with gold highlights

Japanese Inspired Plum Blossoms Vase by Amphora
circa 1897

( Amphora Pottery – Facebook )

Paul Dachsel pine cone vase

Pine cone by Paul Dachsel
Bohemia, circa 1906

Art Nouveau vase with spider web and butterfly decoration ith gold highlights on green

Amphora Two Handled butterfly and spiderweb vase

( Amphora Ceramics )



Amphora-Paul-Daschel twin handled vase

Paul Dachsel large handled vase



Two gold trim goblets with green leaf motifs

Two Amphora goblets



The Princess by Amphora

The Princess by Amphora
Bohemia, circa 1896

( Rago Auctions )



Amphora Pitcher Art nouveau

Amphora Pitcher
Bohemia, circa 1900



Amphora owl and eagle vessel in green and gold

Owl and Eagle Vase by Amphora
Bohemia, circa 1904

Elegant art nouveau gold handled vessel

Paul Dachsel One Handled Ewer
Teplitz, Bohemia, 1906




Art-Nouveau-Amphora vase shown at the Paris Exposition 1900, colorful corncob texture with red leaves

Amphora vase, Paris Exposition 1900, colorful corncob texture with gold accents

Paul Dachsel Art Nouveau Vase

Paul Dachsel Four Handled Raindrop Vase




Art Nouveau poster – ‘Fisherman Goes To Sea’

Bronze art nouveau figure sculpture

Loie Fuller by Amphora
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Norwich, UK
Permanant Collection



water lily motif art nouveau vase by Paul Dachsel

Water Lilies by Paul Dachsel
Bohemia, circa 1906

Paul Dachsel art nouveau vase with lily leafs

Vase with closed water lily leafs – Paul Dachsel/Ernst Wahliss ca 1911

( Rago Arts & Auctions )



Beautiful art nouveau vase with botanical decoration

 Amphora handled vessel, large organic shape, with gold accents

( Treadway and Toomey Gallery)

Amphora classic vase

Twin handled Amphora vase

Art Nouveau Amphora Porcelain

Art Nouveau Amphora

Amphora vase

Amphora Werke Reissner, pastel toned matt glaze

Art nouveau amphora with folded shape in turquoise, gold and blue

Art  Nouveau creased Amphora vase

Art-nouveau-gold vase with jade green spots

AmphoraAmphora Art Nouveau vase with four handles

Amphora Art Nouveau

Amphora Figural vase

Amphora figural candle holder

See another Veniceclayaartstis article on Art Nouveau here




  1. Jad Suttor
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    I have a vase/jug in the same style as the 2handled butterfly vase pictured.(Green glase, gold spider web and 8 cabachon stones and large butterfly no chips)
    The base has Amphora, Austria with other markings and what could be two numbers imprinted.
    Would be really interested to know more about this vase.

  2. Dion Bugett
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal website now 😉

  3. Ilya quimper
    Posted July 8, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    What a feast for the eyes!

  4. Elmar Oliveira
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Might anyone know what the approximate value of Paul Daschel’s Artichoke vase might be and where I might be able to find one?

  5. marco
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    I would like to show you an amphora-austria pottery recently purchased in a Budapest market

    where can I a send a photo ?

  6. Robbie I. Hood
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Hi Marco, you can send the photo to the email address that is displayed when you enter the contact link at the top of this page.

    kind regards

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