Austria, c. 1910
Design: Otto Wagner (1841-1918) – Austrian architect and designer
Manufacturer: J. & J. Kohn, Wien
With manufacturer’s mark and branding
Dimensions: 81 x 62 x 56 cm
The Austrian architect and designer Otto Wagner designed this chair model for the Vienna Postal Savings Bank, a famous Vienna Secession building. The chair feature stabilizing crossbars, an ergonomic saddle seat and a decorative open-work backrest and can be seen as the further development of the classical bentwood chair.
The chairs have the paper label and the manufacturer’s branding. They measure 81 x 62 x 56 cm They are in good condition with usual signs of age and wear.
Otto Wagner (1841-1918)
As an adolescent, Wagner had a good, upper-class upbringing and in 1860, he began to study in Berlin at the Royal Building Academy as well as the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He also took a mason’s apprenticeship and worked in Heinrich von Förster’s (1832-1889) studio. In the 1850s/60s, there was a boom in the construction period and Wagner could realize numerous buildings as a young Architect. His most important works are post-office savings banks, the Kirche am Steinhof (Church of St. Leopold), his residential villas and the Wienzeilenhäuser.
Jakob & Josef Kohn
Jacob Kohn (1791–1866) founded his company together with his son Josef (1814–1884) in 1849. They produced wooden components and soon began producing bentwood. They opened production centers in Bohemia, Krakow and Russia and already in 1900 more than 6300 workers were busy producing more than 5500 pieces of furniture each day. Thanks to the cooperation with such renowned artists as Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos and Gustav Siegel, the company soon made a name for itself as the producer of fashionable and modern furniture. They received many awards, gold medals and even medals from Austria, Spain, Belgium and Russia. The company merged with the Mundus AG in 1914 that also produced for Thonet (Thonet-Kohn-Mundus). Pieces of furniture by Kohn can today be seen in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris as well as in the Museum for applied art, the MAK Vienna.
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