Josef Hoffmann, ‘"Aufsatz" Centerpiece, Model M SH 17’, circa 1929, Sotheby's: Important Design
Josef Hoffmann, ‘"Aufsatz" Centerpiece, Model M SH 17’, circa 1929, Sotheby's: Important Design

Produced by the Wiener Werkstätte, Austria

Signature: impressed WIENER/WERK/STÄTTE, JH and MADE/IN/AUSTRIA

Daniele Baroni and Antonio d'Auria, Josef Hoffmann e la Wiener Werkstätte, Milan, 1981, p. 138
Werner J. Schweiger, Wiener Werkstätte: Design in Vienna 1903-1932, New York, 1984, p. 70
Charlotte and Peter Fiell, eds., 20s Decorative Arts, Cologne, 2000, p. 14
Christian Brandstätter, Design der Wiener Werkstätte 1903-1932, Vienna, 2003, p. 297
Gabriele Fahr-Becker, Wiener Werkstätte 1903-1932, Cologne, 2003, p. 165

Private Collection, Vienna, circa 1925
Thence by descent to the present owner

About Josef Hoffmann

Josef Hoffman’s oeuvre embodies the seismic aesthetic and philosophical shifts that defined avant-garde art and design at the turn of the 19th century. He was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, an organization of artists and designers who sought to breakaway from rigid historical precedents, and later, the Wiener Werkstätte, a workshop dedicated to the production of craftwork of everyday objects including ceramics, textiles, and furniture. Hoffman was integral to defining Western applied arts during this period. The Stoclet Palace (1905–11), Hoffman’s masterpiece, embodies the artistic tension of this era and reveals the architect’s prescience; the mansion’s decorative details recall the fluid stylization of Art Nouveau, while the stark exterior walls—sheets of white marble edged in gilded metal—anticipate the austere planes and strict geometry of the International Style.

Austrian, 1870-1956, Brtnice, Czech Republic, based in Vienna, Austria