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Tall-Case Clock

Tall standing clock with gilt brass panels, checkered wood inlaid trim.

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  • Tall standing clock with gilt brass panels, checkered wood inlaid trim.


c. 1906


Case designed by Josef Hoffmann
Austrian, born Moravia (present-day Czech Republic), 1870-1956
Metalwork designed by Carl Otto Czeschka
Austrian, 1878-1960
Made by the Wiener Werkstätte
Vienna, Austria, 1903-1932

About this artwork

This tall-case clock represents a masterful collaboration between two major figures in the Vienna Secession movement: the architect Josef Hoffmann and the designer Carl Otto Czeschka. Like their English counterparts in the Arts and Crafts movement, the Secessionists initially supported the credo that art is for everyone and worked to create beautiful, simple objects for everyday use. A manifestation of this philosophy was the Wiener Werkstätte, or Vienna Workshop, of which Hoffmann was a founder and Czeschka a member. Produced by the Werkstätte’s specialist craftsmen, this clock embodies the unexpected dichotomy that arose within the workshop: its early reformist ideals resulted in progressive, even avant-garde, products that appealed primarily to a privileged, sophisticated clientele. Hoffmann’s design consists of simple, architectonic forms emphasized through the bold use of stark white-painted maple and an inlaid checkered pattern. In contrast to the case’s austere rectilinearity, Czeschka designed a luxurious, hand-wrought scheme for its dial and door. The door is fashioned from hand-embossed gilt brass inset with cut-glass prisms. Its richly patterned surface decoration depicts a stylized tree of life motif.


On View, Gallery 246


Applied Arts of Europe


Josef Hoffmann (Designer)


Tall-Case Clock


Austria (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Painted maple, ebony, mahogany, gilt brass, glass, silver-plated copper, patinated bronze, and clockworks


179.5 × 46.5 × 30.5 cm (70 5/8 × 18 1/4 × 12 in.)

Credit Line

Laura Matthews, and Mary Waller Langhorne endowments

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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