Luxury Design, Past & Present
Cigarette box designed by Josef Hoffmann manufactured by Wiener Werkstatte 1904 Austrian Jugendstil Alpaca
The Wiener Werkstätte was founded in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Fritz Waerndorfer, originally as a metal workshop. The early designs of the Wiener Werkstätte are characterized by a strict line. These designs from the pen of Moser and Hoffmann are the first examples of the geometric Wiener Jugendstil. Our large cigarette box originates from this early period and was produced between 1904 and 1905.
Flat and simple, with a basic rectangular shape, it clearly shows Hoffmann's "artistic intention". The sides of the box are slightly offset inwards, allowing the four rounded corners to stand out visually. Hoffmann thus lends the flat object a geometric design and an optical lightness.The technically elaborate and perfectly executed hammerstroke decoration does its part here to turn the everyday object into a truly outstanding early design object.
Besides the complete and clear markings, the dedication stamped on the inside of the lid is also interesting: "TO HER DEAR DOCTOR SINGER IN THANKFULNESS APRIL-MAI 1909 E. R.". Our cassette comes from the estate of Dr. Richard Singer. He lived in Vienna and was married to the great-grandmother of the actress Adele Neuhauser.
Bib.: Archive of the Wiener Werkstätte in the MAK Vienna, original draft, inv. no. KI 12047-25; original photograph, inv. No. GO 2106.