Marianne Brandt’s tea-infuser or Teeextraktkännchen MT49, estimate €200,000-250,000 at Lempertz

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The reduced form and clear design using the simplest geometric elements has fascinated collectors worldwide ever since its creation in 1923.

It was far from easy for Brandt when she joined the Bauhaus metal workshop in Weimar. As a woman, she was not initially accepted as an equally capable partner by her male colleagues. As she put it in her memoirs: “How many little hemispheres did I most patiently hammer out of brittle new silver, thinking that was the way it had to be and all beginnings are hard. Later things settled down, and we got along well together.”

Nevertheless, her teapot never went into production and as a consequence is exceedingly rare. Until recently, only eight copies of the tea-infuser were known to exist, all of them in museums in Germany, the UK and US.

One hundred years after its inception, Lempertz in Cologne is offering a previously unknown example of this iconic piece of modern metalwork. The ninth example, made of nickel-silver and ebony, was given by Brandt to a friend in the 1970s and it has remained in the family since then.

On May 15, Lempertz is expecting €200,000-250,000.