The Doblergasse 4 apartment building, Vienna, was completed in 1910.The façade (FIG.1) had a fortress-like design, the doors clad in aluminum and regimented rivets. The Wagners' own apartment was on the first floor where Wagner designed three chairs for the entrance hall. One is currently in a private European collection, and another is in the permanent collection of the MAK in Vienna. The third chair is the lot offered here. A pair of these chairs flanked a matching table (FIG.2), and the third was placed in the corner of the entrance hall (FIG.3). "In the apartment artistic value and hierarchic sequence was indicated not by ornamentation but by the beauty of the natural materials or by a color progression. Thus in the Doblergasse apartment the furniture and fitted cupboards in the ante-room were painted gray, the bedroom cupboards had violet frames and white panels, and the representative furniture in the dining-room was faced with rich, highly polished American burr-walnut. Although Wagner insisted in the last edition of MODERNE ARCHITEKTUR that 'slab-like planes, simplicity of conception and the accentuation of construction and materials,' were demanded by 'modern technology,' another source can also be detected - early Biedermeier. This influence is particularly marked in the chair designs for the Doblergasse apartment, all of which can be directly related to Viennese antecedents dating from the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Indeed, the Doblergasse house characterized Wagner 's habitual dialogue between modernity and continuity."
(OTTO WAGNER, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art Oxford, OXFORD, 1985).
The interior is an example of Wagner's efforts to create a style from the synthesis of carefully chosen historical models, modern materials and techniques, and of his minute attention to function, both real and symbolic.
Gray-lacquered wood, cane, nickeled metal
37 3/4 in. (95.5 cm) high
Private European Collection
Christie's, London, October 29, 1997, lot 45
DAS INTERIOR, XIV, 1913, p.48
Paul Asenbaum, OTTO WAGNER: MOBEL UND INNENRAUME, Vienna, 1984, pp. 252-272
OTTO WAGNER, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, 1985, pls. 36-39