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Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

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
Carl Aubock Brass "Hand" Letter Opener #7208
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Chalk Hill, PA
Carl Aubock Brass "Hand" Letter Opener #7208. Currently produced by Carl Auböck IV in the original Auböck workshop in Vienna, Austria using the same standards, high-quality materials...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Original Midcentury Carl Auböck Horn and Leather Letter Opener
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
For sale is a unique piece of Mid-Century Modern design. The letter opener was carefully hand carved out of horn. It was produced in the renowned Austrian workshops of Bauhaus-influe...
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Horn, Leather

Carl Aubock Polished Brass Letter Opener #4233
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Chalk Hill, PA
Carl Aubock polished brass letter opener #4233. Produced by Carl Auböck IV in the original Auböck workshop in Vienna, Austria using the same standards, high-quality materials, origin...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck #4233-2 Letter Opener
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Carl Auböck #4233-2 Letter Opener, Austria 2022.
Category

2010s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Brass and Cane Letter Opener by Carl Aubock
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Sag Harbor, NY
For five generations the design house of Carl Aubock has been turning ordinary objects like paperweights and bookends into extraordinary objects of beauty in an old town house in Vie...
Category

2010s Austrian Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck #7127 Letter Opener "Flat", Austria, 2022
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck, Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Carl Auböck #7127 letter opener "Flat", Austria 2022.
Category

2010s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Model #4233 Brass and Leather Paper Knife
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck Model #4233 brass and leather paper knife. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural knife is executed in polished brass and handwoven brown leather....
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck #7211 Letter Opener "Turned", Austria 2022
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck, Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Carl Auböck #7211 letter opener "Turned", Austria 2022.
Category

2010s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Letter Opener, Austria, 1960s
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Carl Auböck letter opener in horn, Austria 1960s.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Horn

Carl Auböck #6086-1 Paperweight or Paperknife, Austria 2022
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck, Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Brass paperknife by Carl Auböck.  
Category

2010s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife #7209
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Brass paperknife #7209 by Carl Auböck.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Model #4828 Cane and Steel Knife
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck Model #4828 cane and steel knife. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural knife is executed in polished steel and handwoven cane. Price is per item...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Steel

Carl Auböck Paperknife #4233
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Paperknife by Carl Auböck with glanced splint.
Category

2010s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife with Leather Handle
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Paperknife with brown leather handle by Carl Auböck.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife with Bookmark #6086
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Brass paperknife with bookmark by Carl Auböck.   
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Exceptional, Elegant and Heavy Brass Letter Opener by Carl Auböck, Vienna, 1950s
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Munich, DE
Unique Mid-Century Modern letter opener. Designed and manufactured by Carl Auböck in Vienna, Austria, 1950s. Executed in solid brass and leather. Measurements: L 8.07 in. x W 0.90...
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Nickel-Plated Brass Leather Letter Opener, Paper Knife, 1950s
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
A beautiful and solid nickel-plated brass letter opener or paper knife with black leather handle from the 1950s, designed an executed by Carl Auböck, Vienna / Austria. Marked item in...
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass, Nickel

Carl Aubock, Letter Opener, Leather and Brass, Austria, 1950s
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Stockholm, SE
Letter opener by Carl Auböck. Made in brass with leather handle, Austria, 1950s.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

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Previously Available Items
Authentic Horn Letter Opener Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
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The item on sale is a beautiful letter opener made from horn. It was crafted in Austria in the renowned Werkstätte Carl Auböck and designed by Auböck himself. It is an example of the...
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Authentic Horn Letter Opener Carl Auböck
Authentic Horn Letter Opener Carl Auböck
H 0.12 in W 1.34 in D 9.06 in
Authentic Carl Aubock Leather Desk Top Set Tray and Brass Letter Opener
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
The desk set on offer is an authentic piece of Viennas Bauhaus mid-century design. It was designed and crafted by the renowned Austrian Werkstätten Carl Auböck. Auböcks design shows ...
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Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

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Carl Auböck Letter Opener Magnifying Glass Leather Cover, Mo. 4998, Austria 1959
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
Vintage and original letter opener with built in magnifying glass and leather strap by Austrian designer Carl Auböck. It can also be used as a bookmark...
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Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

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Leather, Glass, Horn

Rare Vintage Hermes Letter Opener by Carl Auböck
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
Carl Auböck designed and manufactured objects that were also sold at high-end retailers such as Hermes in Paris, France. This is one of two documented letter opener models that we kn...
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Rare Vintage Hermes Letter Opener by Carl Auböck
Rare Vintage Hermes Letter Opener by Carl Auböck
Free Shipping
H 9.06 in W 1.07 in D 0.16 in
Original Auböck Horn Letter Opener 1943
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
A beautiful letter opener by Carl Auböck. Made out of beige horn. Published in the Auböck workshop catalogue.
Category

1940s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Horn

Original Auböck Horn Letter Opener 1943
Original Auböck Horn Letter Opener 1943
H 7.09 in W 2.56 in D 0.2 in
Carl Aubock Early Letter Opener, White Metall 1940
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
Solid spelter letter opener by Carl Auböck, designed in the 1940s. War production, featured in the early Aubock catalog. Archaic design and exquisite patina.
Category

1940s Austrian Industrial Vintage Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Spelter

Carl Auböck Paperknife #6086
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Brass paperknife by Carl Auböck.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife #6086
Carl Auböck Paperknife #6086
H 0.79 in W 8.47 in D 0.6 in
Carl Auböck Paperknife with Leather Handle
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Paperknife with brown leather handle by Carl Auböck.
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Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife with Leather Handle
Carl Auböck Paperknife with Leather Handle
H 0.79 in W 9.85 in D 1.03 in
Carl Auböck Paperknife #6086
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Brass paperknife by Carl Auböck.
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Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife #6086
Carl Auböck Paperknife #6086
H 0.79 in W 8.47 in D 0.6 in
Carl Auböck Paperknife with Leather Handle #4233
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Paperknife with brown leather handle by Carl Auböck.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife #4233
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Paperknife by Carl Auböck with glanced splint.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife #4233
Carl Auböck Paperknife #4233
H 0.79 in W 9.85 in D 1.03 in
Carl Auböck Paperknife with Bookmark #7209
By Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Berlin, DE
Brass paperknife with bookmark by Carl Auböck.  
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Werkstätte Carl Auböck Letter Openers

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Paperknife with Bookmark #7209
Carl Auböck Paperknife with Bookmark #7209
H 0.32 in W 7.09 in D 2.45 in

Werkstätte Carl Auböck letter openers for sale on 1stDibs.

Werkstätte Carl Auböck letter openers 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 letter openers, although beige editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 12 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 10 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original letter openers by Werkstätte Carl Auböck were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the mid-20th century. Prices for Werkstätte Carl Auböck letter openers can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $337 and can go as high as $2,681, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $628.

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