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Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Austrian

In Vienna’s Neubau district, a beautiful Biedermeier townhouse has been home to the Werkstätte Carl Auböck for more than 100 years. Inside the workshop, where production continues to this day, countless objects line the shelves, walls, tabletops and desktops.

The Viennese artist and designer Carl Auböck II was one of the quirkiest and most delightful and collectible of modern designers. A rather odd duck in the world of decorative arts, he was a peculiar talent whose specialties included smaller desk accessories and tabletop pieces such as corkscrews, paperweights, letter openers, bookends and bottle stoppers. He rendered these pieces in a combination of metal — most often brass — and such elemental materials as leather, knobby wood and animal horn, creating forms that could be almost Surrealist, from hands and feet to keys, birds and amoebae.

As a boy, Auböck was precocious and artistic. He studied drawing and at the same time trained in the workshop of his father, Karl Heinrich Auböck, a popular maker of traditional bronze figurines and collectibles. In 1919, Carl II went to Germany to study at the Bauhaus, where he was a pupil of the progressive artist and theorist Johannes Itten. While the Bauhaus is most associated with the rigidly ordered, functionalist architecture of its directors Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the school was in reality a liberal, spirited place — a crucible for imaginative, playful and avant-garde art and design. It was this spirit that imbued Carl II’s work from the time he left in 1921.

In 1922 or ’23, Carl Auböck II returned to Vienna to help care for his ailing father, and he took over the business. He created the Werkstätte Carl Auböck and a legacy that earned his objects cult status among collectors. The business was passed on to his descendants, who run the atelier that is still in operation today. Today, objects designed by Carl II make up 90 percent of Werkstätte Carl Auböck’s production, joined by the creations of architect and designer Carl IV, his grandson.

Vintage Auböck designs have a special character, a patina that only emphasizes how much the pieces have been loved and used. Carl Aubock II’s small furniture items — leather- or caned-sling magazine racks; free-edge wooden side tables with tubular bronze legs; wicker serving trolleys with turned beechwood wheels — are elegant and purposeful. His bijoux desktop objects, library tools, ashtrays and barware pieces evince a kind of mirthful practicality. They seem to ask: “If you need a corkscrew, or a paperweight, or a candlestick, why not make it fun as well as functional?” And indeed, why not?

Find a collection of vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck mirrors, seating, tables, decorative objects and other furniture on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Dealer: WYETH
1960s Austrian Cow Horn Comb by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant comb hand carved from cow horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1950s Austrian Wall-Mounted Towel Rack by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A three-tiered wall mounted wooden towel rack with top shelf and removable rods.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Wood

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Comb by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant comb hand carved from cow horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1950s Austrian Brass Paperweight by Carl Aubock
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant heavy solid brass 'hand' paperweight.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Brass

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Brush by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant brush hand carved from cow horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Brush by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant brush hand carved from cow Horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Comb by Carl Aubock
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant comb hand carved from cow horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Comb by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant comb hand carved from cow Horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Comb by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant comb hand carved from cow horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Comb by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant comb hand carved from cow horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

1960s Austrian Cow Horn Brush by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant brush hand carved from cow horn with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Furniture

Materials

Horn

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Brass Corkscrew by Carl Auböck
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Werkstätte Carl Auböck furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Werkstätte Carl Auböck furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Werkstätte Carl Auböck furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 599 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 369 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Werkstätte Carl Auböck were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Walter Bosse, Karl Hagenauer, and Franz Hagenauer. Prices for Werkstätte Carl Auböck furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $145 and can go as high as $27,073, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $823.

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