The original chairs were designed for the theatre cabaret ‘Fledermaus’ (the ‘Bat’) in Vienna in 1907 by architect designer Josef Hoffmann.
They were created by the Wiener Werkstätte, a group of exclusive Viennese workshops, co-founded by Hoffmann in 1903.
Inspired by the Guild of Handicraft, which the English architect and designer C.R. Ashbee had set up in London, the Viennese workshops wanted to create good, simple design and new modern forms.
This chair style became so popular that it remained in production, at Jacob & Josef Kohn, until at least 1916. The chair was also produced by Thonet and featured oval-shaped pieces at the joints, in contrast to the round spheres of the J. & J. Kohn version.
These chairs are from a set re-issued in the 1980s by Thonet and have been restored and re-covered in a fabric by Backhausen; the pattern has been reproduced using an original Secessionist pattern from their archives.