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Fruit basket
  • Fruit basket
    Josef Hoffmann, born 1870 - died 1956
  • Enlarge image

Fruit basket

  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (made)

  • Date:

    1904 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, hammered and raised

  • Credit Line:

    Formerly in the collection of Charles and Lavinia Handley-Read.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 68, The Whiteley Galleries, case 1

The architect Josef Hoffmann, one of the founders of the Wiener Werkstatte in 1903, was also one of the pricipal designers of metal work produced in the workshops. His geometrical designs in silver, of which this fruit basket is an outstanding example, date primarily from the early years of the Wiener Werkstatte.

Physical description

Silver. The basket rises from a small square base, supported below and on two sides by two parallel strips of metal, joined at intervals by a row of pellets, which finally form a rectangle whose width is determined by the splayed square of the rim. Further strips of metal flank the base at right angles to the rectangle, rising in bars to the rim of the basket; two of these bars project beyond the rim at each side and are joined at the top with a row of pellets.

Place of Origin

Vienna (made)


1904 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Silver, hammered and raised

Marks and inscriptions

The monogram of the Wiener Werkstatte and that of the craftsman who made the piece, and the mark denoting first quality silver


Height: 27 cm, Width: 23 cm, Depth: 23 cm

Object history note

Previously in the Handley-Read Collection

"Acquisition RF: 1970/3528
Purchased from Thomas Stainton
Josef Hoffmann studied architecture in Munich and Vienna where he was briefly a pupil of Otto Wagner, the architect in charge of the Vienna Stadtbahnn project. In 1897, Hoffman joined the Vienna Secession led by the painter Gustav Klimt. In 1899, Hoffman was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts; a post he held until 1941. In 1903, Hoffman visited England with Koloman Moser. Inspired by the example of Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft and supported by the wealthy businessman, Fritz Warndoffer, Hoffman and Moser founded the Wiener Werkstätte the following year. Moser left in 1905 but Hoffman remained associated with the Werkstätte until 1931. At first Hoffman's metalwork for the Werkstätte was severely rectinlinear, owing much to the Scottish architect, CR Mackintosh but towards the 1920s, Hoffman turned to a much more curvilinear style which was in marked contrast to his earlier manner. "

Descriptive line

Fruit Basket, silver, Josef Hoffmann, Wiener Werkstätte, Austria, 1904.

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

Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000
Jervis, Simon, Victorian and Edwardian decorative art: the Handley-Read collection, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1972






Metalwork; Food vessels & Tableware


Metalwork Collection

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