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    Sale 12273

    Historical Design

    26 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 2

    JOSEF HOFFMANN 1870-1956


    Price Realised  


    JOSEF HOFFMANN 1870-1956
    executed by Johann Jonasch, Vienna, for the Ferdinand Hodler Apartment, Geneva, ebonised limed oak, upholstery
    35 in. (89 cm.) high; 24 in. (60.9 cm.) wide; 20 in. (50.8 cm.) deep

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    The celebrated Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler first met Hoffmann when, in 1901, he was elected a corresponding member of the Vienna Secession. In 1904 Hodler was given a solo exhibition as part of the 19th Secession Exhibition and spent three months of this year living in the Hoffmann-designed home of Dr. Friedrich Spitzer. By 1913, at the height of his success, he had the funds to commission Hoffmann to furnish an apartment for him at the prestigious address of 29, quai du Montblanc, Geneva. Hoffmann designed four rooms, a large and a small drawing room, an antechamber and also a dining room. The current lot was part of the latter interior, and formed two of a set of eight armchairs which were positioned around an extended dining table, with four being placed around the walls when the table was not in use extended.

    Four further armchairs, together with the dining table and sideboard, from this commission were shown at the Neue Galerie, New York, in 2006 as part of the 'Josef Hoffmann: Interiors 1902-1913' exhibition. An armchair was also exhibited in their solo show 'Ferdinand Hodler: View to Infinity', which ran from September 2012 to January 2013.

    Special Notice

    These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. This VAT is not shown separately on the invoice. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.


    Private Collection, Switzerland.


    E. F. Sekler, Josef Hoffmann: The Architectural Work, New Jersey, 1985, p. 362;
    J. Kallir, Viennese Design and the Wiener Werkstätte, 1986, Japan, p. 34, fig. 35, another example illustrated;
    C. Witt-Dorring (ed.); M. Huey (contrib.), Josef Hoffmann Interiors 1902-1913, New York, 2006, p. 210 for a 1918 photograph of Hodler seated on a covered example of this chair in the dining room, pp. 210-213, for discussions of the commission, p. 212, pl. 80 showing another example;
    A. Sarnitz, Josef Hoffmann: L'Univer De La Beauté, 2007.