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    Sale 12273

    Historical Design

    26 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 4

    JOSEF HOFFMANN 1870-1956


    Price Realised  


    JOSEF HOFFMANN 1870-1956
    executed by silversmith Josef Czech, executed by the Wiener Werkstätte, silver, citrine and carnelian mounts, engraved inscription to cover
    8 ½ in. (21.5 cm.) high
    stamped WW, rosemark, designer, maker and Vienna assay marks

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    This unique cup and cover is a rare survivor and is accompanied by a fascinating provenance. The lot is noted in the Wiener Werkstätte archive as model number S 92, and is listed as a unique work for Karl Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein returned it to the Wiener Werkstätte in 1904 for reasons unknown and it was subsequently acquired by the Rector of the University of Vienna, Dr. Edmund Bernatzik. He donated it to the University for use as a prize and it was awarded to Fritz Kachler (later three time Figure Skating World Champion) on his victory in an International skating competition on the 13 January 1911. As well as being detailed in the archive, a period black and white photograph of the piece survives (ref. WWF 95-3-5.). Of even greater rarity is a period photograph of the silver workshops at the Wiener Werkstätte which features the cup and cover during its creation, reproduced here. Under the mindful eye of the head of the silver workshops, Josef Hoßfeld, its maker Josef Czech is seen looking away from the camera, towards the work.

    Image credit: Sammlung Felicitas Kuhn.


    Karl Wittgenstein;
    Wiener Werkstätte;
    Dr. Edmund Bernatzik;
    awarded to Friedrich (Fritz) Kachler, 13.1.1911;
    Private Collection, Vienna.


    H. Cantz, Wiener Silber Modernes Design 1780-1918, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2003, p. 199, for a contemporary photograph of the silver workshop of the Wiener Werkstatte, showing the current lot being produced.