Jacob & Josef Kohn, also known as J. & J. Kohn, emerged as a prominent Austrian furniture manufacturing and interior design firm in Vienna, established in 1849 by the father-son duo Jacob Kohn (1791–1866) and Josef Kohn (1814–1884). They quickly rose to prominence as one of the premier furniture makers within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, rivalling the esteemed Thonet Brothers.

Renowned for their innovative use of Austrian beech, J. & J. Kohn’s repertoire spanned a wide range of modern furniture pieces, from chairs and coat racks to specialized doll furniture. In the dawn of the 20th century, their collaboration with the Wiener Werkstätte, an artists’ collective co-founded by Josef Hoffmann, marked a significant era. Through this partnership, they produced a distinctive collection of furniture characterized by bentwood, cane, and upholstered designs, which were distributed across Europe and North America via their expansive showroom network. Their creations during this period were heavily influenced by the burgeoning Art Nouveau style prevalent across Europe.

Despite their success in producing bentwood furniture akin to the Thonet Brothers, the advent of World War I saw a shift in their competitive landscape, leading to price wars and subsequent mergers. A significant merger with Mundus, a Viennese company, eventually resulted in the formation of Mundus-Kohn and, later, Thonet-Mundus between 1922 and 1923. While Thonet managed to further expand and rebrand post-World War II, the name J. & J. Kohn ceased to be used in furniture production thereafter.

Today, J. & J. Kohn’s legacy endures in the antique market, with collectors and design aficionados cherishing pieces like the bentwood wingback chairs by Josef Hoffmann, among other seating options, side tables, and beech nesting tables. These timeless pieces continue to exemplify the mastery of bentwood craftsmanship that J. & J. Kohn was known for.


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