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Hoffmann Josef

THREE-SEATER SETTEE

Masterpieces Spring 2020
Print
About the artist 1868 – Vienna – 1918
Designed by Koloman Moser, around 1906
Executed by J. & J. Kohn, model no. 418, from 1906 on
Marked paper label: "Josef Stula Tapezierer & Dekorateur Teschen West/Schlesien, 18/IV 1907"
Material Bent beech and plywood, stained black, limed oak decoration, surface cleaned and slightly repolished, retouches, 4 panels with linear inlays in brass, reupholstered, very beautiful original condition
Dimensions H 76 cm, SH 42 cm, W 162 cm, D 70 cm
Provenance private collection, USA
Literature G. Renzi, Il mobile moderno, Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, Jacob & Josef Kohn, Milan, 2008, p. 186 et seq.

A variant of this settee was shown at the World Exhibition in Milan in 1906. I am not aware of any bent wood piece of furniture whose production was technically more challenging than this settee. The individual sections on the sides and the back consist of up to 16 seamlessly joined bent beech elements. They must interlink most perfectly in order to simulate a closed surface. In order to achieve such a perfect connection, a special iron mould had to be produced for each individual bent element. This required the highest level of precision. The goal was not only to excel with cutting-edge products, but also to demonstrate to the Thonet Brothers, who exhibited in the next room, that products made by J. & J. Kohn are not only top-of-the-line, but indeed more artistic and technically superior. To date, experts are only aware of one table, one armchair and this settee. We would like to thank Giovanni Renzi for his friendly help and for providing us with the documentation.


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THREE-SEATER SETTEE ⋅ Masterpieces Spring 2020 ⋅ Hoffmann Josef

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