A pair of dumb waiters for Archduke Charles, 1822-25

Death Chamber of Archduke Carl

 

Regarding their design and type, these two multi-tiered stands number among the most innovative solutions developed by Viennese cabinetmakers around 1820. Conceived by the Danhauser furniture factory for Archduke Charles, this model is catalogued as “Servante no. 33.” 

Joseph Danhauser, A pair of dumb waiters for Archduke Charles, 1822-25 © Albertina, Vienna (Photo: elwoods.at)

Joseph Danhauser

A pair of dumb waiters for Archduke Charles, 1822-25

In the course of the newly gained intimacy that was gradually manifesting itself in aristocratic “apartments,” all kinds of shelf units became widespread in private living rooms. They ensured that everyday utensils were permanently available and accessible without having to rely on a helping hand. This is why they were referred to as “dumb waiters” or “servants.”

 

Here the trays, increasing in size towards the bottom, are supported by lateral shafts instead of a central one. Thanks to this ingenious design, the Danhauser furniture factory succeeded in creating continuous display surfaces. The present dumb waiters were used in the palace’s so-called Spanish Apartment until 1919.