Jourtische Hoffmann 01 copy

Four nesting tables by Josef Hoffmann

Vienna 1906

Designed by Josef Hoff­mann, exe­cut­ed by J. & J. Kohn from 1906, mod­el no. 986. Paper labels with the sig­na­ture of J. & J. Kohn on the small­est table.

Made of beech wood and ply­wood, stained mahogany, and pol­ished with shel­lac. Per­son­al note: This mod­el of the nest­ing tables designed by Hoff­mann is a design clas­sic and is cer­tain­ly one of the most beau­ti­ful of this era.

Also avail­able as pair.

Lit­er­a­ture: Sales cat­a­log J. & J. Kohn, 1906, p. 52; Sales cat­a­log J. & J. Kohn, 1916, p. 79;G. Ren­zi, Il mobile mod­er­no, Gebrüder Thonet Vien­na, Jacob & Josef Kohn, Milan 2008, p. 180 f; Illus­tra­tion: Das Interieur, Vol. 9, 1908, p. 28.

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.”

Jourtische Hoffmann 04
Jourtische H: 74,5 cm, W: 60 cm, D: 43 cm
Jourtische Hoffmann 05
Jourtische Hoffmann 03