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Salt and pepper cellar
  • Salt and pepper cellar
    Josef Hoffmann, born 1870 - died 1956
  • Enlarge image

Salt and pepper cellar

  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (made)

  • Date:

    1904 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Josef Hoffmann, born 1870 - died 1956 (designer)
    Wiener Werkstätte (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver with two glass liners

  • Museum number:

    M.9 to B-1982

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Josef Hoffmann studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Carl von Hasenauer and Otto Wagner and was influenced by their theories of a functional, modernist architecture. After winning the Rome prize in 1895 and joining Wagner's office, he established his own office in 1898 and taught at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule from 1899 to 1936. He was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, an avant-garde group of artists and architects. In 1903 he founded the Wiener Werkstätte with Koloman Moser. Hoffmann's earliest works reflect the Vienna Secession's variant of Art Nouveau and his later work shows a pioneering use of geometric and abstract design. His most famous building, the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, built 1905-1911, exemplifies the ideal of the 'Gesamtkunstwerk' or 'total work of art'.

Physical description

The base of the cellar has two rectangular sections removed so that the remaining edges form a support to contain the two glass liners. The walls of the long rectangular box containing these liners are plain apart from four embossed pellets, rising vertically for the entire height, in the centre of the two longer sides. The two liners are furthermore separated by a folded section of silver, forming two internal walls on the inner sides and a narrow strip of metal across the width of the vessel, forming the base for the handle. The two sides of the handle are inset slightly from the edge of the vessel and rise vertically, parallel to the sides of the vessel itself.

Place of Origin

Vienna (made)


1904 (made)


Josef Hoffmann, born 1870 - died 1956 (designer)
Wiener Werkstätte (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver with two glass liners

Marks and inscriptions

Marks for the Wiener Werkstatte, Josef Hoffmann, the Austrian discharge mark for silver and the maker's mark, AW within a circle.


Height: 12.5 cm, Length: 10.2 cm, Width: 4 cm

Object history note

The salt and pepper cellar was exhibited in Vienna in 1980, in Groningen in 1982 and at the Edinburgh Festival from August to September 1983.

Descriptive line

Silver salt and pepper cellar, designed by Josef Hoffmann and made by the Wiener Werkstatte, 1904.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Moderne Vergangenheit. Vienna, 1980, p. 310, cat. no. 243.
Vienna 1900: Vienna, Scotland and the European Avant-garde. Cat. no. 2.44 (incorrect).


Silver; Glass


Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery


Metalwork Collection

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