Atelier Thonet, Josef Hoffman (early 20th century)
Described as a Sitzmachine, or Machine for Sitting, this chair, with its clean, refined lines that almost anticipate Art Deco, marked a historic moment in early 20th century high-end furniture design. This model in laminated and curved wood produced by Atelier Thonet-Hoffman, is particularly interesting due to the possibility of positioning the backrest at various angles by means of a wooden bar with two spheres at the sides. Josef Hoffmann, a pupil of Otto Wagner, founded the Wiener Werkstätte in 1903 with Kolo Moser, a group that would completely reimagine the concept of artistic craftsmanship. Limited editions of everyday objects, jewelry, and furniture of high artistic value were created in collaboration with the most illustrious artists of the period (including Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka). Branches in New York, Berlin, and Zurich were a clear demonstration of the success they enjoyed internationally. Due to the worldwide economic collapse, the company was forced to stop production in 1932 despite its success. The articles they produced, however, endure, and are now part of the classics of design history.