Vienna: Circa 1935-1939.
A rare an unusual collection of original hand-painted fashion designs produced in Vienna before the outbreak of the Second World War. All seventeen designs are original artworks. Some feature ornate and carefully crafted crepe-paper whorls and rosettes, presenting the elegant fashion items as textured three dimensional forms. The plates comprise designs for a range of items and accessories – six pairs of shoes, ten pairs of gloves, and a parasol – all signed by the talented artist ‘Kropej’. It is known that Miss Kropej studied under the care of Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska, who operated a privately owned art and craft school in Vienna from 1915. The school taught a range of skills in the decorative arts, and was renowned for wonderful toys and textile design. The school closed in 1939 when Emmy Zweybrück- Prochaska was forced to emigrate for the United States where she continued to work in textile design and the illustration of children’s books.
This collection of work by Miss Kropej is a beautiful example of the haute couture of the era, exemplifed by restraint and simplicity of design alongside sensuous attention to detail.
Collection of seventeen original hand-coloured designs of which four leaves feature attached crepe-paper oral ornaments (each leaf is watermarked 1935 and measures 210 x 298 mm.) The entire collection is in outstanding condition, preserved in an exquisite yellow cloth folding case with leather label lettered ‘Mode’ to the front board.