Armchair, c. 1891
Carved oak and embossed leather
Georg Ernst Friedrich Hulbe was a German bookbinder and leather artisan of the Art Nouveau era. He was born in Kiel but spent the bulk of his career in moved to Hamburg, opening his first of many workshops in Barmbek, then at Alsterwiete.
There, his business took off. In 1910 he had the now-famous Hulbe House built in the Hamburg city center, and it served as a space to exhibit a wide variety of artwork.
Hulbe himself produced leather work of the highest quality and price point. From decadent gilt-leather book covers and upholstery of the finest variety to the exquisitely embossed wallpaper in the Hamburg City Hall, his hand is in all the details. From armchairs to document folders, and caskets to folding screens— even all the leather fittings for the Hamburg City Hall and the Reichstag in Berlin.
When Hamburg city hall was inaugurated, Hulbe made the city’s Golden Book (a golden book is a book used in communities, cities and counties, in which guests of honor can register during a visit). When the city hall was restored inside and out in the mid-1990s, the leather wallpapers and leather armchairs could be processed with Hulbe's original leather cutting and punching tools, because they are now owned by the oldest leather stamping workshop in Germany in Hamburg.