Hans Miedler Fine Art Hoffmann Luster

Exceptional Viennese Silver Chandelier

Wiener Werkstätte surroundings - J. Hoffmann

This stun­ning Chan­de­lier is craft­ed in a beau­ti­ful­ly sil­ver-plat­ed design and has nine arms in total, with five light bulbs inside the chan­de­lier shade and four on the oval, black-pol­ished ceil­ing plate.

The fine chan­de­lier crown is dec­o­rat­ed with six medal­lion-shaped ele­ments, each fea­tur­ing the fre­quent­ly used Hoff­mann motif of heart-shaped leaves with vines and fruits, and sur­round­ed by a pearl rod between two bands. Above them are four slight­ly tapered struts, which con­nect to the cen­tral bowl and are dec­o­rat­ed with the leaves and berries of the hol­ly plant.

The closed cen­tral bowl is also dec­o­rat­ed mul­ti­ple times around the perime­ter with pearl edges, hol­ly leaves, and berries. The sil­ver-plat­ed chan­de­lier stem is crowned by an equal­ly dec­o­rat­ed cov­er plate. Above this cov­er plate is the oval black shel­lacked ceil­ing plate, on which four sil­ver-plat­ed lamp sock­ets dec­o­rat­ed with pearl rods are mount­ed. This idea of room light­ing, which could be switched sep­a­rate­ly from the chan­de­lier, can be con­sid­ered an ear­ly ver­sion of today’s ceil­ing spotlights.The sil­ver-plat­ed chan­de­lier has been restored with great care in our work­shops, a new silk shade has been hand­craft­ed, and it has been new­ly elec­tri­fied and equipped with the orig­i­nal sil­ver-plat­ed sock­ets with long porce­lain necks. Many of the orna­ments used in this design are found more fre­quent­ly in the designs of Josef Hoff­mann. Hoff­mann often used the heart-shaped leaf motif in his brooch designs. The orna­men­ta­tion of the cov­er plates with pearl edges can also be found in Josef Hoff­man­n’s designs for his sil­ver and cen­ter­piece bowls.

In view of its tru­ly extra­or­di­nary design, as well as its absolute­ly fine and detailed exe­cu­tion, this chan­de­lier can be seen as a per­fect exam­ple of the fan­tas­ti­cal­ly beau­ti­ful qual­i­ty of the art and inte­ri­or objects cre­at­ed in the con­text of the Wiener Werk­stätte. We show you com­pa­ra­ble designs from the col­lec­tion of the Muse­um of Applied Arts (MAK), as well as detail shots from fur­ni­ture designs below.

A sig­nif­i­cant design of a chan­de­lier by Josef Hoff­mann, which was exe­cut­ed by Lud­wig Lob­meyr, is the Cologne chan­de­lier, designed for the Werk­bund Exhi­bi­tion 1914, which can still be seen today on per­ma­nent loan from the fam­i­ly at the MAK in Vien­na. In con­trast to the present chan­de­lier, the heart-shaped leaf orna­ments in the chan­de­lier crown of the Cologne chan­de­lier are worked in ham­mered fin­ish, which gives them a less del­i­cate appear­ance. With the sil­ver-plat­ed exe­cu­tion and the del­i­ca­cy of the work of the present chan­de­lier, there is no doubt that it was def­i­nite­ly a com­mis­sioned work for a wealthy client. It is a rare unique piece and a mas­ter­piece from one of the most sig­nif­i­cant and inter­est­ing styl­is­tic peri­ods in Vien­na. This mod­ern design with the idea of sep­a­rate­ly illu­mi­nat­ed ceil­ing sock­ets is also con­sid­ered a pre­cur­sor to today’s ceil­ing spotlights.

All of this is won­der­ful evi­dence of the high-qual­i­ty mate­ri­als used dur­ing the time of the Wiener Werk­stätte, as well as the pio­neer­ing role of sig­nif­i­cant archi­tects and design­ers on the way to modernity.

Josef Hoff­mann (18701956):

Josef Hoff­mann was born in 1870 in Pirnitz/​Moravia dur­ing a social­ly and polit­i­cal­ly dif­fi­cult time, but it was also the begin­ning of the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion with all its pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive aspects. In 1892, Josef Hoff­mann began his archi­tec­ture stud­ies at the Acad­e­my of Fine Arts in Vien­na under Carl von Hase­nauer and Otto Wag­n­er. He was ear­ly on fas­ci­nat­ed by the Eng­lish-Scot­tish Arts and Crafts move­ment, whose vision was to fill all areas of life with art, design every­day and util­i­tar­i­an objects in a more beau­ti­ful and aes­thet­ic way, and make art­ful­ly designed objects acces­si­ble to a broad­er social class. J. Hoff­mann, as well as his teacher Otto Wag­n­er, believed that art could even have a heal­ing effect on the human soul. They believed that the role of the archi­tect should be much larg­er, that the archi­tect should also be a design­er, and that all objects to be used should be redesigned. Hoff­mann remained true to this cre­do through­out his life. At the young age of just 29, Hoff­mann was already appoint­ed pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts in Vien­na. This was fol­lowed by one of the sig­nif­i­cant steps in Hoff­man­n’s career, after he joined the Vien­na Seces­sion” in 1897 with Gus­tav Klimt, Kolo­man Moser, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Carl Moll, and oth­ers. This asso­ci­a­tion saw itself as a counter-move­ment to the estab­lished artists. Only six years lat­er, he found­ed the Wiener Werk­stätte togeth­er with Kolo­man Moser and with the sup­port of indus­tri­al­ist Fritz Waern­dor­fer in 1903. The Sana­to­ri­um Purk­ers­dorf, imple­ment­ed in 1904, must be count­ed among the first eight icon­ic mas­ter­pieces of Hoff­mann, in which he designed every­thing down to the small­est detail, from the inte­ri­or to the gar­dens. This over­all work of art set almost rad­i­cal new stan­dards in the view of archi­tec­ture and design. One of Josef Hoff­man­n’s most sig­nif­i­cant works, which ulti­mate­ly brought him inter­na­tion­al break­through, was the Sto­clet Palace in Brus­sels. In this build­ing, which he real­ized between 1905 and 1911, he was able to ful­ly real­ize his vision of a total work of art. Archi­tec­ture and design merge with dai­ly life, and art becomes an aes­thet­ic part of our every­day life. An inter­est­ing aspect of the idea of a total work of art would be that the impor­tant Dan­ish-Aus­tri­an mas­ter builder and archi­tect of Clas­si­cism and His­tori­cism, Theophil Edvard Hansen (1813 in Copen­hagen — 1891 in Vien­na), had the vision of a total work of art of build­ing and fur­nish­ing and was also able to imple­ment it in some of his projects in Vien­na. The strict and clear design lan­guage of Hoff­man­n’s designs paved the way for mod­ernism and, like Adolf Loos’s designs, are works of time­less ele­gance, made with the high­est pos­si­ble qual­i­ty and exe­cu­tion. An impor­tant quote from Le Cor­busier about Josef Hoff­mann might be: Today, when the new generations…take own­er­ship of the fruits of the work of the true pio­neers, it is only fair…to express our grat­i­tude to men like Pro­fes­sor Hoff­mann and to com­pa­nies as bold as the Wiener Werk­stätte. Final­ly, what remains is the indis­pens­able super­flu­ous, art.”

S. MAK Exhi­bi­tion in Vien­na: JOSEF HOFF­MANN. Progress Through Beauty 

See images below, Lit­er­a­ture: MAK Exhibiton: Wall Vit­rine from the stair­case of Vil­la Ast, 1910; exe­cu­tion Wiener Werk­stätte, Macas­sar-ebony, brass. 

THE OTTO SCHOEN­THAL COL­LEC­TION image at the bot­tom: Josef Hoff­mann 1870 – 1956, Progress Through Beau­ty, MAK p. 187 dep. 3 JH, Her­ren­z­im­mer (Gen­tle­man Room) of Prof. Dr. Otto Zuck­erkan­dl’s apart­ment, 191213

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Chandelier H: 168 cm, W: 65 cm, D: 45cm The length of the chandelier rod can be shortened if desired
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Similar drafts, Collection MAK Vienna Draft for a 4-lights Chandelier, 1911 and for a Wall Vitrine, 1910, both for Villa Ast
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Example for the Herzblatt (heart-shaped) medallions as decoration element of an integrated Wall Vitrine
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Example Ceiling Light, MAK Archive
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"Gentleman Room" in the apartment of Prof. Dr. Otto Zuckerkandl, 1912/13 S. Literature above, Exhibition MAK "Progress Through Beauty"