Mirror with vegetal ornamentation, design Josef Hoffmann, execution Max Welz Vienna for Wiener Werkstatte, mod. No. “H52”, around 1930, carved walnut, original mirror glass, signed
on reverse original company’s label “MAX WELZ WIEN VII”; Bib.: Archive of the company Max Welz, construction drawing Fa. Welz, marked “H 52” and monogrammed with JH for Josef Hoffmann
Foliage was a central and recurring motif in Josef Hoffmann’s designs, in which he captured nature’s rich ornamental language in a stylized and reduced way. Herein he was also inspired by the imaginative designs of Dagobert Peche.
Despite the strong stylistic reduction, in this wall mirror, dating from the 1920s, nature is clearly visible. From its slightly curved shape pointed leaves sprout out like those of a climbing plant. Particularly finely carved are its isolated flower-shoots, seemingly sprouting from their protective leaves. Matching with the light frame’s shape the applied vegetal décor does not seem overloaded at all.
The mirror was executed in the finest quality by renowned frame manufacturer Max Welz in Vienna, which at the time had an exclusive contract with the Wiener Werkstatte. Thus, the Welz-mirrors were distributed by the Wiener Werkstatte-branches and Max Welz itself. Whether in Vienna, Berlin or New York, they reached an international, design savvy clientele.
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