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A8118 Coffee table, walnut veneer / sapele wood / glass, Paul Kafka, Sydney, New South Wales, c. 1940.
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Object statement
Coffee table, walnut veneer / sapele wood / glass, Paul Kafka, Sydney, New South Wales, c. 1940.
Paul Kafka is one of the most significant furniture makers to have worked in Sydney in the immediate post-war period. Born in Vienna in 1907, the son of a Viennese furniture maker, he worked in his father's factory and later studied furniture design and interior decoration at the Academy of Arts in Vienna. In 1939 Kafka and his wife emigrated to Australia and established a furniture making factory, first in Elizabeth Street, Sydney and by the late 1940s larger premises in Botany Road, Waterloo. Here he employed designers and 20-30 tradesmen producing custom-built furniture principally for eastern suburbs clients. In the 1960s he turned more to producing specialised furniture for hotels and motels. Kafka died in Sydney on 15 May 1972.

At a time when Australia was just emerging from its post-war isolation Kafka produced stylish, well-made furniture for a discerning clientele composed mostly of European immigrants living in the eastern suburbs. Kafka's training and early practice in Vienna during the 1920s and 30s is reflected in the references to the art deco style that continued to inform his work during the 1950s. This is particularly evident in his characterstic use of strongly-striped veneers and geometric detailing, albeit with a contemporary interpretation. Kafka's practice included the design of individual pieces for clients as well as built-in fittings and complete interiors. Much of his furniture bears his company's small metal label.

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Description
Coffee table, walnut veneer / sapele wood / glass, Paul Kafka, Sydney, New South Wales, c. 1940.

Walnut veneer and sapele wood three tiered coffee table with peach mirror glass top.
Made: 1935 - 1945
A8118
Production date
1935 - 1945
Height
530 mm
Width
1230 mm
Depth
510 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Purchased 1981
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/195752
Cite this object in Wikipedia
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/195752 |title=A8118 Coffee table, walnut veneer / sapele wood / glass, Paul Kafka, Sydney, New South Wales, c. 1940. |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=22 October 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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