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Wimmer-Wisgrill Eduard Josef / Hoffmann Josef

Magnificent 24-branch standard lamp

Wiener Werkstätte
About the artist 1882 – Vienna – 1961
Designed by Eduard Josef Wimmer-Wisgrill, Josef Hoffmann, Vienna, around 1912
Executed by Wiener Werkstätte
Material Carved beech and oak, partial gold plating and gold leaf, glass holder of gold-plated brass with bead-and-reel decoration, original cut glass hangings, original glass hanging in leaf form, good original condition, gold-plating partially supplemented, some of the glass hangings are missing
Dimensions H 221 cm, Ø 71.5 cm
Provenance Jerome and Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein
Literature WW archive, Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, design drawing inv. no. KI 13224-7
Ask about this object

Recent research has shown that Wimmer-Wisgrill and Hoffmann worked very closely together in the WW and that they even executed a number of objects for the WW together. Apparently Wimmer-Wisgrill also carried out a number of designs for the Wittgenstein family. The standard lamp that we are showing is certainly an outstanding example of this work.

However, if the design drawings are compared to the finished lamp, there are certain deviations.

  1. The finished standard lamp appears to be much more compact, the columns on which the branches are mounted are much sturdier.
  2. The number of branches was increased to 24, and thus almost doubled. They are also executed in a more compact form.
  3. The metal glass holders are made in a way that is typical of the WW (bead and reel) and were originally matt gold plated. They, too, have taken on a much stricter form than those in the design drawing.

One can assume that there was another design sketch for the standard lamp or that the lamp possibly only took its final shape while it was being made. It is also probable that Wimmer-Wisgrill and Hoffmann worked on it together.

The significance of the Wittgenstein family as patrons of the fine and applied arts at the beginning of the 20th century is well documented. The artistically gifted Paul Wittgenstein (1842–1928), brother of industrialist Karl (1847–1913) and uncle to the famous philosopher Ludwig (1889–1951), were enthusiastic patrons of Wiener Werkstätte. In 1905, together with Koloman Moser, Hoffmann furnished the apartment of the Stonborough family. In 1906, Wittgenstein commissioned Josef Hoffmann to plan a house for his son Hermann (1879–1953) and his wife Lyda, née Fries (1879–1964), at 7, Salesianergasse in Vienna’s 3rd district.

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Magnificent 24-branch standard lamp ⋅ Wiener Werkstätte ⋅ Wimmer-Wisgrill Eduard Josef / Hoffmann Josef

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