A pair of Austrian Secessionist Armchairs designed by Gustav Siegel
Vienna Secession Settee with brass feet in ebonised beech wood by Gustav Siegel, produced by J. & J. Kohn, Upholstered in Kerry Joyce Linen and Velvet. Austrian, circa 190
This chair was exhibited for the first time at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900Lit.: cf Das Interieur I, Heft 10, Wien 1900, ill. p. 156
cf Sales catalogue Jacob & Josef Kohn 1916, Reprint Munich 1980, ill. p. 40, no 715/F Austrian furniture manufacturing company.
In 1849 Jacob Kohn (1791–1868) and his son Josef Kohn (1814–84) founded a factory for the production of wooden building components in the Vsetín area of Moravia. They began a successful campaign to dispute Michael Thonet’s patent of 1856 for the production of bentwood furniture, and, in 1867, before Thonet voluntarily waived patent rights in 1869, they set up a company in Vsetín for the manufacture of bentwood, going into production in 1868. A second factory was established at Jičín in 1869, others at Kraców in Poland and at Teschen (now Česky Těšín) in 1871, yet another in Novo-Radomsk, Russia (now Radomsko, Poland) in 1884, and their own frame-making factory in Holleschau in 1890. At the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris the firm first presented models designed by Gustav Siegel (1880–1970), and from then on bentwood furniture ceased to be an anonymous mass-market industrial product and became part of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Such architects as Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, Josef Hoffmann and Kolo Moser all produced designs for the company, which achieved further success in the Werkbundausstellung of 1914 in Cologne. In the same year J. & J. Kohn merged with Mundus AG, which in turn incorporated Gebrüder Thonet in 1922.
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