HM Fledermausgesamt

Salon Suite, after a design by Josef Hoffmann

Vienna around 1907, named "Fledermaus-Sitzgruppe"

The so-called Fle­d­er­maus-Gruppe” got its name from the epony­mous Vien­nese cabaret Fle­d­er­maus” which was fur­nished with this mod­el by Josef Hoffmann.

Con­sist­ing of a bench, two arm­chairs and four sidechairs, in sol­id beech­wood and bent beech­wood, Mahogany stained and pol­ished. Backs with mould­ed, bent back­rest ribs and a cen­ter medal­lion, seat and sup­ports ter­mi­nat­ing in a ball. 

Absolute­ly rare, still with the orig­i­nal suede tapes­try with flo­ral pat­tern, in amaz­ing condition.

Pro­duced by Fir­ma Mundus”

Josef Hoff­mann (18701956):

Josef Hoff­mann was born in 1870 in Pirnitz/​Moravia dur­ing a social­ly and eco­nom­i­cal­ly chal­leng­ing time, but it was also the begin­ning of the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion with all its pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive aspects. Hoff­mann began his archi­tec­tur­al stud­ies in 1892 at the Acad­e­my of Fine Arts in Vien­na under Carl von Hase­nauer and Otto Wag­n­er. He became fas­ci­nat­ed ear­ly on with the Eng­lish-Scot­tish Arts & Crafts move­ment. Their vision was to infuse all aspects of life with art, to design every­day objects more beau­ti­ful­ly and aes­thet­i­cal­ly, and thus to make artis­ti­cal­ly designed objects acces­si­ble to a wider soci­etal stra­tum. Hoff­mann, as well as his teacher Otto Wag­n­er, believed that art could even have a heal­ing effect on the human soul. They envi­sioned a much larg­er role for the archi­tect; from now on, the archi­tect should simul­ta­ne­ous­ly be a design­er and redesign all objects to be used. Hoff­mann remained true to this creed through­out his life.

At the young age of just 29, Hoff­mann was already appoint­ed as a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts in Vien­na. One of the sig­nif­i­cant steps in Hoff­man­n’s career came in 1897 when he, along with Gus­tav Klimt, Kolo­man Moser, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Carl Moll, and oth­ers, joined the Vien­na Seces­sion, which saw itself as a counter-move­ment to the estab­lished artists. Only six years lat­er, togeth­er with Kolo­man Moser and with the sup­port of the indus­tri­al­ist Fritz Waern­dor­fer, Hoff­mann found­ed the Wiener Werk­stätte in 1903.

Among Hoff­man­n’s first icon­ic mas­ter­pieces, one must count the Sana­to­ri­um Purk­ers­dorf, imple­ment­ed in 1904, where Hoff­mann had designed every­thing down to the small­est detail, from the inte­ri­or design to the gar­dens. This total work of art set almost rad­i­cal new stan­dards in the view of archi­tec­ture and design. One of Josef Hoff­man­n’s most sig­nif­i­cant works, with which he ulti­mate­ly achieved inter­na­tion­al break­through, was the Palais Sto­clet in Brus­sels. With this build­ing, which he real­ized between 1905 and 1911, he was able to ful­ly real­ize his vision of the total work of art. Archi­tec­ture and design merge with dai­ly life, and art becomes an aes­thet­ic part of our every­day lives.

An inter­est­ing aspect of the idea of the total work of art is that the sig­nif­i­cant Dan­ish-Aus­tri­an mas­ter builder and archi­tect of clas­si­cism and his­tori­cism, Theophil Edvard Hansen (1813 in Copen­hagen — 1891 in Vien­na), already had the vision of a total work of art of build­ing and inte­ri­or design and was able to imple­ment this idea in some of his projects in Vien­na. The strict and clear design lan­guage of Hoff­man­n’s designs paved the way for mod­ernism and, like the designs of Adolf Loos, are works of time­less ele­gance, craft­ed to the high­est qual­i­ty and exe­cu­tion. A sig­nif­i­cant quote might be that of Le Cor­busier, in which he said about Josef Hoff­mann: “… today, as the new gen­er­a­tions … appro­pri­ate the fruits of the work of the true pio­neers … it is only fair … to express our grat­i­tude to men like Pro­fes­sor Hoff­mann and to enter­pris­es that were as bold as the Wiener Werk­stätte. Final­ly, what remains is the indis­pens­able super­flu­ous — art.”

Deutsche Kun­st und Deko­ra­tion, Dezem­ber 1908“, p. 159, Sales Cat­a­logue of Jacob & Josef Kohn”, Vien­na 1916; also depict­ed in Bent Wood and Met­al Fur­ni­ture: 1850 – 1946“, pub­lished by The Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Arts, 1987 New York
Wiener Werk­stätte Kun­st und Handw­erk 1903- 1932”, Wern­er J. Schweiger, Edi­tion CH Brandstätter
HM Fledermaus D1
Fledermaus Salon Suite
HM Fledermaus Bank
One Bench W: 119 cm, T: 52 cm, H: 84 cm
HM Fledermaus D2
Two Armchairs W: 53 cm, T: 50 cm, H: 84 cm
HM Fledermaus Stoff
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Four Sidechairs W: 55 cm, D: 43 cm, H: 84 cm
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Poster for the Cabaret Fledermaus Left poster design by B. Löffler 1907, right by F. K. Delavillla
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HM Fledermaus1
Cabaret Fledermaus Left J. Hoffmann, the entrance area to the bar of the Cabaret Fledermaus, right the auditorium viewed from the stage
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Original chair by J. Hoffmann from the Cabaret Fledermaus around 1905