Josef Hoffmann zugeschrieben

Pirnitz, Mähren 1870 - 1956 Wien


Unique piece

Beech, silver oak decor

H 199 cm, W 151 cm and W 157.5 cm (with moulding) respectively, D 64 cm and D 67.5 cm (with moulding) respectively, D inside for hanging 54 cm


According to the previous owner, Josef Hoffmann designed this cupboard for the family of Alma Auswald-Heller, Innsbruck. Alma Auswald-Heller was married to the architect Auswald and distantly related to Josef Hoffmann. Both worked for the Wiener Werkstätte.


cf Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, Darmstadt 1909, p. 156

The present cupboard, the design of which is attributed to Josef
Hoffmann, typically exemplifies his artistic genius. At first sight, this
piece of furniture might be perceived as plain, but if the period in which
it was made is taken into account, one cannot but admire the simplicity,
proportions, and sense of detail of this cupboard, which is at least twenty
years ahead of modernism.
Hoffmann brought discontinuity to his straightforward furniture, most
of which was lacquered in white or black, by breaking up closed surfaces
in order to produce depth and a dynamic sweep. For many of his pieces
of furniture, Hoffmann planned these recesses as central elements in
the upper structure, so as to provide space for all kinds of colourful and
contrasting objects. Similar designs by Josef Hoffmann can be found in
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration from the years 1908 (villa of the Beer-
Hofmann family), 1909 (Wiener Werkstätte salesroom in Neustiftgasse
in Vienna’s 7th district), and finally in 1916 (apartment of Anton and
Sonja Knips). Giovanni Renzi