Otto Wagner Settee Bench by Thonet, Austria, Vienna Secession, circa 1905 For Sale
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Otto Wagner Settee Bench by Thonet, Austria, Vienna Secession, circa 1905


A Vienna Secession bentwood settee by Otto Wagner and manufactured by Thonet, Austria, circa 1900. This settee is an authentic piece which is in great original condition with nice patina. It is made of dark brown (almost black) stained beech wood and French polished, a technique that involves hand applying many thin coats of shellac which was used for high quality pieces in that time. There is only little wear on the armrests as well as on the back and seat. There is a little split in the seat which is only in the outer layer of the wood. We can organize a restoration of this split but there is no restriction in usage or appearance. We like it how it is. About Otto Wagner: Otto Koloman Wagner (13 July 1841 – 11 April 1918) was an Austrian architect and urban planner, known for his lasting impact on the appearance of his home town Vienna, to which he contributed many landmarks. Wagner was born in Penzing, a district in Vienna. He was the son of Suzanne (née von Helffenstorffer-Hueber) and Rudolf Simeon Wagner, a notary to the Royal Hungarian Court. He studied architecture at the Viennese Polytechnic Institute and the Royal School of Architecture in Berlin. After completing his education, he returned to Vienna to work. In 1864, he started designing his first buildings in the historicist style. In the mid- and late-1880s, like many of his contemporaries in Germany (such as Constantin Lipsius, Richard Streiter and Georg Heuser), Switzerland (Hans Auer and Alfred Friedrich Bluntschli) and France (Paul Sédille), Wagner became a proponent of Architectural Realism. It was a theoretical position that enabled him to mitigate the reliance on historical forms. In 1894, when he became Professor of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, he was well advanced on his path toward a more radical opposition to the prevailing currents of historicist architecture. By mid-1890s, he had already designed several Jugendstil buildings. Wagner was very interested in urban planning — in 1890 he designed a new city plan for Vienna, but only his urban rail network, the Stadtbahn, was built. In 1896 he published a textbook entitled Modern Architecture in which he expressed his ideas about the role of the architect; it was based on the text of his 1894 inaugural lecture to the Academy. His style incorporated the use of new materials and new forms to reflect the fact that society itself was changing. In his textbook, he stated that "new human tasks and views called for a change or reconstitution of existing forms". In pursuit of this ideal, he designed and built structures that reflected their intended function, such as the austere Neustiftgasse apartment block in Vienna. In 1897, he joined Gustav Klimt, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser shortly after they founded the "Vienna Secession" artistic group. From the ideas of this group he developed a style that included quasi-symbolic references to the new forms of modernity. The Vienna Secession's work is often referred to (during the years before World War I) as the Austrian version of Jugendstil, the German term for Art Nouveau. Wagner had a strong influence on his pupils at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. This "Wagner School" included Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Karl Ehn, Jože Plecnik and Max Fabiani. Another student of Wagner's was Rudolph Schindler, who said "Modern Architecture began with Mackintosh in Scotland, Otto Wagner in Vienna, and Louis Sullivan in Chicago." Wagner died in Vienna in 1918.  


  • Date of Manufacture
  • Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor structural damages.
  • Dimensions
    H 31.5 in. x W 50.01 in. x D 23.63 in.H 80 cm x W 127 cm x D 60 cm
  • Seat Height
    18.51 in. (47 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Vienna, AT
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
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1stdibs seller since 2014
Located in Vienna, AT
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