Schreibsekretar Umkreis J Frank 01

Writing Secretary, 1925/30 *SOLD

Austria, Surrounding of the Austrian Werkbund

Espe­cial­ly beau­ti­ful and intri­cate­ly craft­ed writ­ing desk from the sur­round­ings or inspired by the designs of the archi­tects of the Aus­tri­an Werkbund.

The writ­ing fur­ni­ture is visu­al­ly divid­ed into three parts. The low­er sec­tion is designed in the style of a con­sole table. Here, the four con­i­cal, gen­tly slop­ing legs are con­nect­ed on three sides with a cross­bar and fea­ture two main draw­ers.

The large main upper sec­tion is set back and designed with a slant­ed large writ­ing flap. When the writ­ing flap is opened, it reveals the beau­ti­ful­ly appoint­ed inte­ri­or. The inte­ri­or is divid­ed into a wider cen­tral seg­ment with two small draw­ers and two com­part­ments and is bor­dered on both sides by the small­er seg­ments, each with three com­part­ments. The inte­ri­or fit­tings and writ­ing sur­face are exe­cut­ed in light maple with dark geo­met­ric mar­quetry.

The crown­ing or con­clud­ing ele­ment is a slight­ly set-back upper sec­tion exe­cut­ed with three sym­met­ri­cal draw­ers.
All hard­ware is of very fine qual­i­ty in brass. The han­dles of the draw­ers are a design state­ment of their time in their own right. They are also the only flo­ral ele­ment in an oth­er­wise clear design of this fur­ni­ture.

Styl­is­ti­cal­ly, one could asso­ciate these han­dles with Dagob­ert Peche.

The entire fur­ni­ture body is exe­cut­ed with mul­ti­ple mir­rored birch veneers. It comes with a lock and key.
This writ­ing desk also has a match­ing seat. A cra­dle-shaped stool with ele­gant­ly flared legs and a padded seat, which com­ple­ments the table per­fect­ly in terms of aes­thet­ics. The seat has been new­ly uphol­stered in a light Alcan­tara.

A beau­ti­ful­ly clear design of a writ­ing piece that will become the cen­ter­piece in any mod­ern inte­ri­or. Addi­tion­al­ly, due to its dimen­sions, this fur­ni­ture is per­fect for small­er spaces, which was also the idea of the design­ers of that time. Design­ers such as Josef Frank, Josef Hoff­mann, Dagob­ert Peche, Wal­ter Sobot­ka, Oskar Str­nad, and Oskar Wach, among oth­ers, were influ­en­tial in shap­ing this era.


Josef Frank and Oskar Wlach was 1925 the founder of the Haus & Garten home fur­nish­ing com­pa­ny and fur­nished among oth­ers the inte­ri­ors of three hous­es of the Vien­na Werkbundsiedlung.


The Aus­tri­an Werk­bund:
The Aus­tri­an Werk­bund was found­ed in 1912 on the lines of the Ger­man Werk­bund, aim­ing to enno­ble’ the work of prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ers by encour­ag­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion between art, crafts, and indus­try. In its first gen­er­al assem­bly in 1913, the under­ly­ing con­cept of the Werk­bund was reit­er­at­ed by its chair­man, Baron Adolf Bachofen von Echt: The Werk­bund desires to con­tribute as much as pos­si­ble to estab­lish­ing bet­ter-qual­i­ty work­ing prac­tices, to achiev­ing bet­ter- or supe­ri­or-qual­i­ty prod­ucts. How­ev­er, this should include not only expen­sive, lux­u­ry objects […] but also plain, sim­ple and inex­pen­sive wares which can be of supe­ri­or qual­i­ty as long as they present them­selves hon­est­ly for what they are with­out attempt­ing to pass them­selves off as valu­able objects’. The new­ly estab­lished asso­ci­a­tion did not want mere­ly to cre­ate high­ly priced objects for a social elite but aspired to ensure that the less well-off, the low­er mid­dle and work­ing class­es, albeit with­in very mod­est lim­its […] are offered only prod­ucts that pro­vide joy through their fit­ness for use and which fos­ter the cul­ture of domes­tic liv­ing’. Among the mem­bers of this asso­ci­a­tion of artists, indus­tri­al­ists and crafts­peo­ple were Josef Hoff­mann, Josef Frank, Oskar Str­nad and Dagob­ert Peche.

Lit: Werk​bund​sied​lung​-Wien​.at / Text: Anna Stuhlp­far­rer, and

Pho­to­graph of the Guest Room with Sec­re­tary in the Kras­ny House Designed by Josef Frank and Oskar Wlach,” see pho­to below

Pro­duc­tion:
pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Julius Scherb, Vien­na, after 1928
design of depict­ed work: Josef Frank, Vien­na, 1927 to 1928
design of depict­ed work: Oskar Wlach, Vien­na, 1927 to 1928
exe­cu­tion of depict­ed work: Haus & Garten, Vien­na, 1927 to 1928
stamp (back side): Handw­erk­lich­es Licht­bild. / Julius Scherb, Wien, 6. / Gumpen­dor­fer­str. 26; Ruf A 30345 /
Mit­glied der Wr. Pho­tographen­handw­erk­statt
Asso­ci­at­ed object:
Wind­sor Arm­chair, Pultschreibtisch
design: Plan for a sec­re­tary (scru­toire) made of mat­te pol­ished cher­ry­wood, with a detail view of the inside, design: Plan for an uphol­stered arm­chair whose arm­rests are not con­nect­ed to the back­rest, designed for the com­pa­ny Haus & Garten, design: Plan for a firm­ly uphol­stered fau­teuil with vis­i­ble wood­en frame made of mahogany, used among oth­er things to fur­nish the Kras­ny house and the Beer house

Schreibsekretar Umkreis J Frank 02
Austrian Writing Desk
Schreibsekretar Umkreis J Frank 08
Schreibsekretar Umkreis J Frank 11
Schreibsekretar Umkreis J Frank 05
Schreibsekretar Umkreis J Frank 07
IMG 0917
Collection MAK (Museum of Applied Art, Vienna) Photograph of the Guest Room with Secretary in the Krasny House Designed by Josef Frank and Oskar Wlach