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American Decorative Arts
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Designer: Ilonka Karasz, American, born Hungary, 1896–1981
Manufacturer: Paye and Baker Manufacturing Company, American, 1901–1935

Tea-and-Coffee Service


Electroplated nickel silver and bakelite with brass

Teapot, with lid: 4 3/4 × 6 1/4 × 4 1/8 in. (12 × 15.88 × 10.5 cm)
Coffee pot, with lid: 6 3/4 × 6 1/2 × 4 1/8 in. (17.15 × 16.5 × 10.5 cm)
Sugar bowl, with lid: 3 1/2 × 6 3/4 × 4 1/8 in. (8.89 × 17.15 × 10.5 cm)
Creamer: 2 1/2 × 6 1/2 × 4 1/8
Gift of M. Josephine Dial in memory of Gregory T. Dial, B.S. 1930, Fund
With her sister Mariska, Ilonka Karasz emigrated in 1913 from Budapest, where she had studied at the Royal School of Arts and Crafts. Working in Greenwich Village over several decades, she designed ceramics, wallpaper, silver, embroidery, rugs, furniture, book illustrations, and New Yorker covers. Many of her handworked fabrics express an early interest in European folk motifs. Karasz’s metalwork, however, more often shows the influence of the German Bauhaus design school, which, under the direction of Walter Gropius, was gaining attention for the modern designs of some of its teachers and students, as well as for its progressive teaching methods. This crisp, geometric tea-and-coffee service represents one of the strongest expressions of Bauhaus style in America. Part of the functionality of the design is that all the pieces were made from the same extruded pipe, making it less expensive for a mass-market.
Made in North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Designed in New York, New York
On view
20th century
Containers - Metals

Ilonka Karasz Nyland, New York 1928-81; transferred to the Estate of Ilonka Karasz Nyland, 1981; purchased by Fifty/50 New York, 1981-85


Arthur J. Pulos, American Design Ethic: A History of Industrial Design (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1983), 338, 345, ill.

“Acquisitions 1985–1987,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 40, no. 2 (Spring 1988): 52.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 112, ill.

Peter Hawes, A Great Panorama Celebrating Twenty-five Years of American Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1998), 10, ill.

John Hollander and Joanna Weber, Words for Images: A Gallery of Poems, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 25.

Patricia Kirkham, Women Designers in the USA 1900–2000: Diversity and Difference, 2 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002), 235, fig. 9–11.

John Stuart Gordon et al., A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011), 50–51, no. 27.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.