- Museum number
Coffee-pot; part of coffee-set; electroplated nickel silver; oval shape with ebonised wood handle; the lid has beading at the base of the knop.
- Production date
Height: 10.20 centimetres
Length: 19.80 centimetres (including handle)
Width: 15.30 centimetres (including spout)
- Curator's comments
- In set with 1987,0107.2-3
Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.125a.
Hoffmann trained under the architect Otto Wagner and worked alongside Olbrich in Wagner's studio. In 1899 he was appointed Professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, having joined the Vienna Secession in 1897. Both Mackintosh and Ashbee had a formative effect on Hoffmann, Mackintosh as the dominant artistic influence and Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft as a model on which to base a Viennese equivalent. But Hoffmann's Wiener Werkstatte, founded in 1903 with Koloman Moser, had, unlike Ashbee's Guild, strong financial backing, from the banker Fritz Warndorfer. Hoffmann designed furniture, metalwork, glass and ceramics for the Wiener Werkstatte, but remained a designer only and did not execute his designs himself. For the Wiener Werkstatte, see Schweiger, W., 'Wiener Werkstatte. Kunst und Handwerk 1903-1922, Vienna 1982, English ed. New York 1984 and Kallir, J., 'Viennese Design and the Wiener Werkstatte', London 1986.
Hoffmann's original design drawings for this service survive in the Wiener Werkstatte archive in the Osterreichisches Museum fiir angewandte Kunst, design numbers M. 1881-89 (Fig. 28, OMAK inv. no. 12051/8, a page of designs including the coffeepot, milk jug and sugar basin). The service was first executed in 1911 and produced until 1919-20 (information kindly supplied by Elizabeth Schmuttermeier).
For a related coffee-pot of c.1908, see Neuwirth, W. ''Wiener Werkstatte -Avantgarde, Art Deco, Industrial Design', Vienna 1984.no. 67, though this has a domed lid. A closer parallel is to be found in the tea service of 1910-11, which also has beaded knops, Neuwirth 1984, no. 80 and 1985, pl. 262, produced in brass and alpacca. Similar services are illustrated in Deutsche Kunst & Dekoration 25, 1909-10, 368 and 33, 1913-14, 480. Hoffmann's use of plain surfaces decorated with beading dates from about 1909, when his style changed in favour of a return to the neo-classical forms of the early nineteenth century or Biedermeier period.
Both Hoffmann and Prutscher were designers only and did not execute the metalwork themselves. The appearance of Prutscher's monogram on the coffee-pot and sugar basin is misleading ; the craftsman probably used the wrong designer stamp in error. (I am grateful to Elizabeth Schmuttermeier for this explanation.)
Information supplementary to Rudoe 1994:
See also M. Collins, 'Towards Post-Modernism, Design since 1851', London, British Museum, revised ed. 1994, fig. 40.
For more information supplementary to Rudoe 1994 see: Hans Wichmann, 'Industrial Design , Unikate, Serienerzeugnisse. Die Neue Sammlung, Ein neuer Museumtype des 20. Jahrunderts', Munich 1986, p. 155.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number