Lot 123: Josef Hoffmann Attr., Living Room Suite, Thonet, c. 1919
December 2, 2016
Berlin, Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Beech, red-brown stain
Design: attributed to Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956) - Austrian architect and designer; co-founder of the Viennese Secession, the Wiener Werkstätte and the Deutsche Werkbund, circa 1919
Execution: Thonet Viennese Bentwood manufactory, established in 1819 by Michael Thonet
All pieces underneath with manufacturer's label
3-piece living room suite consisting of a bench and two arm chairs
Dimensions bench: 81 x 129 x 52 cm; seat height: 45 cm
Dimensions arm chairs: 81 x 64 x 57 cm; seat height: 46 cm
The living room suite is in a good, age-related condition with usual traces of age and usage. The seats showing slight warping and minor desiccation cracks.
The furniture company Thonet was established by Michael Thonet (1796-1871) and is family-owned to this day. Michael Thonet began to develop the production of furniture from mechanic to industrial manufacturing. For this purpose, he experimented with bentwood. In 1836 he acquired the Michelsmuehle, a glue factory in Boppard - but run into financial difficulties and had to close this establishment in 1841 and moved to Vienna with his family. There he opened an establishment of his own again in 1849 he named it Gebrueder Thonet . He achieved his breakthrough design with the Viennese bistro chair, also known as Chair No. 14 (1859). The chair was designed at the first Thonet factory, which opened in Koritchan, Moravia in 1859. Factories later opened in various German, French, and Austrian locations. There, the company employed new working procedures to standardize manufacturing, such as division of labor and movable parts that made chairs a relatively cheap mass product. The chair turned Thonet into an internationally successful business; the company produced and sold two million different objects in 1912. It had sale locations across Europe as well as in Chicago and New York. In the 1930s, tubular steel was added as a new material and Thonet produced designs by Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Even today, new designs in addition to the classics are produced in the company headquarters in Hessian Frankenberg. (kre)
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