Elephant Trunk Table
Design Adolf Loos with Max Schmidt and foreman Josef Berka around 1900

Elephant Trunk Table Design Adolf Loos with Max Schmidt and foreman Josef Berka around 1900

Manufactured by Friedrich Otto Schmidt, Vienna, 9th district, Währinger Straße

Oak, brass fittings and brass feet, red-brown marbled stone inlay

H 65.5 cm, D 95 cm

Used by Adolf Loos in different variants for the furnishing of several apartments since 1900


cf. Das Interieur 1903, p. 14
cf. Eva B. Ottillinger, Adolf Loos. Wohnkonzepte und Möbelentwürfe, Salzburg/Vienna 1994, ill. p. 46, no, 38, ill. p. 57, no. 49 and ill. p. 154, no. 216
cf. Peter Rostas, Die Geschichte des Einrichtungshauses Friedrich Otto Schmidt (1859–1918), Budapest 2010, ill. p. 210, no. 281, p. 211, no. 283
cf. Exhibition catalogue ‘Wege der Moderne. Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos und die Folgen’, ed. by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Matthias Boeckl, Christian Witt-Dörring, MAK, Vienna 2014/15, ill. p. 147

Adolf Loos used this table model in different variants for several
of his interiors (Turnovsky, Weiss, Friedmann, and Rosenfeld) – for
the very first time for the study of Dr Hugo Haberfeld in 1902.
The piece of furniture, which originally served as a tea table, was
inspired by a prototype made in 1899 by the London-based company
Hampton & Sons of 8, Pall Mall East, which had been founded in
1830. In 1907, Loos wrote about the table in a text accompanying his
“Wohnungswanderungen” [“Residential Walking Tours”]: “The Elephant
Trunk Table was manufactured in the workshop of F. O. Schmidt under
the supervision of Max Schmidt (executed and finished by work master
Berka).” Max Schmidt, who owned the interior decoration company
Friedrich Otto Schmidt in Vienna together with his brothers Otto and
Leo Schmidt, varied the table’s design with regard to the number of legs
(there are models supported by six or eight legs), the size of the top,
the brass applications, and the inlays in the table top. The company
F. O. Schmidt presented the “Elephant Trunk Table” – the name refers to
the form of its legs – at the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition; it was first
shown in Vienna at the Winter Exhibition at the Austrian Museum of Art
and Industry (today’s Museum of Applied Arts) in 1901. The following
year, Kolo Moser used a similar model in the 13th Exhibition of the
Secession. Markus Kristan