Internierter Salontisch W Foltin zug 01 1

Viennese Salon or Entry Table from around 1920/30

Draft: Wilhelm Foltin, Execution Johann Kutscherowsky, Vienna, Intarsia: Makowetz, Vienna

Extrav­a­gant and intri­cate­ly exe­cut­ed table mod­el attrib­uted to Wil­helm Foltin (18901970), a stu­dent of Josef Hoff­mann. The crafts­man­ship is like­ly by Johann Kutscherowsky, as seen in Folt­in’s bed­room fur­ni­ture design, cre­at­ed for his wife and now held in the Hof­mo­bilien­de­pot col­lec­tion in Vien­na. The elab­o­rate mar­quetry, much like in Folt­in’s bed­room design, is thought to have been done by a Mr. Makowetz.

The oval table­top with a high rim is veneered in rose­wood and pol­ished with shel­lac. The fine­ly mar­quet­ed four flo­ral bou­quets are made from numer­ous pre­cious woods, form­ing var­i­ous flow­ers, leaves, and grass­es, each adorned with a but­ter­fly and intri­cate bows. The round­ed edge of the table­top fea­tures con­trast­ing light veneer.

The strik­ing table base has a hexag­o­nal­ly taper­ing shaft tran­si­tion­ing into an eight-fold bom­bé cen­tral ele­ment from which four curved, pro­filed feet with styl­ized paws emerge. The base is com­plet­ed with a mul­ti-wave dec­o­ra­tive ele­ment.

An absolute­ly unique table and a beau­ti­ful exam­ple of the out­stand­ing fur­ni­ture design and crafts­man­ship that emerged in Aus­tria dur­ing the 1920s.

Wil­helm Foltin (1890 — 1970):
He stud­ied archi­tec­ture under Pro­fes­sor Josef Hoff­mann at the Vien­na School of Arts and Crafts. Ear­ly in his career, he worked for the Wiener Werk­stätte, design­ing fab­rics. After his mil­i­tary ser­vice from 1914 – 1918, he stud­ied under Alexan­der Popp at the Acad­e­my of Fine Arts in Vien­na and also enrolled at the Vien­na Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy. From 1918 to 1920, he worked in Josef Hoff­man­n’s archi­tec­tur­al office. Foltin received his archi­tec­tur­al diplo­ma in 1940. He taught at the Acad­e­my of Fur­ni­ture and Mod­el Build­ing from 1942 to 1944. His fur­ni­ture and inte­ri­ors were nat­u­ral­ly influ­enced by the style of the Wiener Werk­stätte. In 1966, Wil­helm Foltin was award­ed the title of Pro­fes­sor.

Uni­ver­si­ty Library Hei­del­berg / his­tor­i­cal dig­i­tal col­lec­tions.
Die gesamte Wohnkun­st in Bild und Wort” (“The Art of Liv­ing in pic­tures and text”), Edi­tor: Hofrat Alexan­der Koch. XXXV Year Jan­u­ary Issue, 1924, page 393.
Innen­deko­ra­tion: Mein Heim, mein Stolz; Wohnen zwis­chen den Kriegen” (“Inte­ri­or Décor: My Home, My Pride; Liv­ing between the two world wars”); Wiener Möbel 1914 – 1941 (Vien­nese Furniture)/ Museen des Mobilien­de­pots, pages 72 – 77

Below is an excerpt from the jour­nal Die gesamte Wohnkun­st in Bild und Wort’, where Foltin shares his thoughts on archi­tec­ture and inte­ri­or design. This gives us a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the ideas that shaped the archi­tec­ture and design style of this era.

Inte­ri­or Design — Intro­duc­tion:

Some Anno­ta­tions:

A per­son­’s home is a part of their life.
There­fore, the task of the inte­ri­or design­er is to sur­round the client with fur­nish­ings that reflect their essence. Before con­struct­ing or fur­nish­ing a house or room, one should place the client metaphor­i­cal­ly in the mid­dle of the room’ and clar­i­fy the rela­tion­ship between them and the space, seek­ing to define the phys­iog­no­my’ of the room.
Encour­age the client to say, Here I will work, here I will eat, here I will read my books, and here I will receive my guests.’ Try to under­stand how the client relates to life and art, and strive to accom­mo­date their desires to the point where they feel at home in the new envi­ron­ment, almost for­get­ting the archi­tec­t’s for­ma­tive hand.
If the space already exists, exam­ine doors and win­dows to deter­mine if they can remain, as their place­ment is cru­cial for room divi­sion and light dis­tri­b­u­tion. Wall treat­ment often sig­nif­i­cant­ly affects the room’s ambiance.

With fab­rics, avoid exces­sive gath­er­ing; opt for light fab­rics that flow calm­ly and sim­ply, form­ing nat­ur­al folds. While fur­nish­ing items should be con­sis­tent in char­ac­ter, they need not be uni­form in form.

Avoid con­sis­tent height mea­sure­ments. The pro­file of the table should not match the pro­file of the cab­i­net at the same height. Wall base heights should not repeat at the chair’s feet, as this cre­ates exces­sive rigid­i­ty…
Avoid uni­for­mi­ty in the design of fur­nish­ings. Each piece should derive its form from its pur­pose.

For fur­ni­ture, cab­i­nets, side­boards, etc., avoid over­ly heavy bases, as they give the impres­sion that the fur­ni­ture is emerg­ing heav­i­ly from the ground. Heavy bases dis­rupt the uni­ty of spa­tial impres­sion and also impede the space’s clean­li­ness.
Carv­ings should only be applied to sol­id wood parts, and only where con­struc­tion requires sol­id com­po­nents. Avoid attach­ing carv­ings to veneered sur­faces! Carv­ings only work har­mo­nious­ly when the mate­r­i­al nat­u­ral­ly sup­ports them; oth­er­wise, they seem illog­i­cal and con­trived.
For veneered sur­faces, mar­quetry is the appro­pri­ate dec­o­ra­tive option. Since veneered sur­faces have become the norm for our fur­ni­ture, mar­quetry should be more fre­quent­ly seen.
This offers many new pos­si­bil­i­ties.
Each mate­r­i­al requires a unique under­stand­ing.
What appears del­i­cate in wood seems too heavy in met­al, and the form that suits met­al is frag­ile in wood; there­fore, each mate­r­i­al dic­tates dif­fer­ent forms.

Last­ly: let every design mature in the mind before putting it on paper, let it mature even fur­ther before trans­lat­ing it into mate­r­i­al.


Internierter Salontisch W Foltin zug 02
Viennese Salon Table L: 111.5 cm, D: 81 cm, H: 74.5 cm
Internierter Salontisch W Foltin zug 04
Internierter Salontisch W Foltin zug 03
IMG 0701