Petite Vienna Secession Bentwood Bench
Austria, Circa 1899
A rare, brilliantly proportioned, Vienna Secession bentwood bench designed and made by the father and son duo, Jacob and Josef Kohn, circa 1899.
J. & J. Kohn of Vienna, Austria, was founded in 1849 as an interior design agency and a firm that made wooden elements for buildings. Around 1867, they began making furniture and quickly became one of the leading furniture makers in Austria-Hungary. In 1914 J. & J. Kohn merged with Mundus, a holding company in Vienna, and became Kohn-Mundus. Kohn-Mundus merged with Thonet in 1922.
The bench is made of beech wood, the frame is solid steam bent beech, whilst the seat and backrest are beech plywood. Both the seat and backrest have been embossed/pressed with a highly ornate motif.
Whilst the elaborate decoration on the seating panels is stylistically inspired by Baroque design the frame of the bench has a sobriety and efficiency of line which reveals this piece to be a product of machines and at the cusp of Modernity.
The patination on the bench is nothing less than exquisite. Thanks to over a century of gentle wear, in certain places the natural beech has re-emerged from the original warm-dark-brown stain finish. Underside stamped J. & J. Kohn.
Height: 100 cm
Seat Height: 47 cm
Depth: 45 cm