"Fledermaus" Table Josef Hoffmann
An early first edition "Fledermaus" Table design by Josef Hoffmann in 1906 and executed by J. & J. Kohn, Vienna, between 1907 and 1912.
The table takes its name from the famous cabaret for which it was designed, Kabarett Fledermaus, opened 1907. Not only the furniture but all aspects of Kabarett Fledermaus’ interior and paraphernalia were designed by members of the Wiener Werkstätte -a cooperative of architects, artists, and designers. The space can thus be referred to as a Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, as all components of the cabaret such as the stage, costumes, cutlery, textiles, as well as posters and postcards (of the performances) were designed in consideration of each other in order to create a coherent expression of the shared ideas on aesthetics and modernity. In addition to Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka - to name but a few- were involved in the project. Built as a space for experimental dance, theatre, poetry etc… Kabarett Fledermaus became a lively late-night destination for the cultural avant-garde and an integral part of Viennese social life.
The table is made of solid beech that has been stained a dark-mahogany colour towards black. Its form is essentially a variety of circles and spheres which are shapes that Hoffmann often incorporated into his work. Perhaps most visually satisfying and most redolent of Hoffmann’s work are the seven incised bands at the top and bottom of the eight spindles that border eight spheres. Circles and squares and their three-dimensional counterparts were dominant decorative motifs used throughout the cabaret.
The table is in excellent condition for its age showing only a small amount of scratches to the table top. Preservation of the table has been thanks to careful use but also a glass plate (unphotographed but included) the same diameter as the top.
Diameter: 60 cm
Height: 77 cm
Height to Underside of Top: 74.5 cm