Luxury Design, Past & Present
The Wiener Werkstätte experienced its most glamorous phase in the period around 1905. Many of the pieces created at that time were later to be counted as part of the design canon. Among the iconic furniture are undoubtedly those from the so-called “Fledermaus”-series. These pieces derive their name from the famous Viennese cabaret “Fledermaus”, because Josef Hoffmann chose the armchairs for its furnishing. However, the series was designed two years before the opening of the cabaret in 1907 and has been available in the Kohn sales catalogue since 1906 under the much more earthbound name “series 728”.
The Fledermaus series was created as a collaboration between Josef Hoffmann and Gustav Siegel. They gave this furniture the simple elegance of the time creating a sharp contrast to the bulky furnishings of the late 19th century. Form follows function and only the slender, round legs and the oversized spheres serve as decoration and give this table its recognizable silhouette. The fine polish of this table accentuates the grain of the wood to create a unique, natural ornament out of it.
Bib.: J. & J. Kohn mod. no. 728, comp. Giovanni Renzi, "Il mobile moderno", Silvana Editoriale Spa, Milano 2008, p. 169