Description & Technical information

Executed based on a design for the dining room presented at the 1912 spring exhibition "Österreichisches Kunstgewerbe" (Austrian Arts and Crafts).

Executed by: J. Soulek for Wiener Werkstätte, after 1912

Fabric: Wilhelm Jonasch, around 1910; motif: front garden, Wiener Werkstätte

Solid pear and pear veneer, dyed black and polished, carved leaf and grape decoration, dye retouched in places, surface cleaned and slightly polished, fabric

reproduced from the original pattern, first-class original condition.

Showcase: H 135.5 cm, W 121.5 cm, D 42.5 cm

These three pieces of furniture were created based on a design for the dining room shown at the spring exhibition "Österreichisches Kunstgewerbe" (Austrian Arts

and Crafts) in 1912. Featuring in the magazine "Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration", this large sideboard carried the caption "Prof. Josef Hoffmann Vienna, execution: J. Soulek, richly carved buffet from dining room shown opposite".

These pieces of furniture are a very significant example of the anticipation of Art Déco. For the first time, decorative carvings such as flowers, grapes and leaves, which had previously only become visible when the viewer opened the piece’s doors, are now shown on the exterior.

Hoffmann had already used very similar decoration for a writing cabinet he designed for Villa Ast in 1910. Whereas Hoffmann had richly decorated the interior of this writing cabinet with carved floral motifs, he used these decorations in an even more magnificent manner on the outside in his 1912 design.

In the documented large sideboard, the motif is repeated three times across the entire front (D. K. & D., vol. XXXI, p. 183). The medallions in the chairs’ backrests are decorated with similar leaf carvings (D. K. & D., vol. XXXI, p. 185).
Hoffmann also used a comparable type of arched carving for the banisters in Palais
Stoclet (Sekler, p. 307, WV 104/XII).

Date:  1912
Period:  Early 20th century
Origin:  Vienna
Dimensions: 136 x 117 x 60 cm (53¹/₂ x 46¹/₈ x 23⁵/₈ inches)

private property, Austria


D. K. & D., 1912, vol. XXXI, p. 183; Kreisel/Himmelheber, Die Kunst des deutschen Möbels, Munich, 1973, illus. 980; The Studio IV, 1912, p. 217


MAK Vienna, Josef Hoffmann 1870-1956. Progress Through Beauty, December 2021 until June 2022

Categories: Furniture