Stam was a Dutch architect, urban planner, and furniture designer. He was extraordinarily well-connected, and his career intersects with important moments in the history of 20th-century European architecture, including chair design at the Bauhaus, the Weissenhof estate and the Van Nelle Factory, an important modernist landmark building in Rotterdam, buildings for Ernst May’s New Frankfurt housing project then to Russia with the idealistic May Brigade, to postwar reconstruction in Germany. Stam was at the centre of c20th Modernism.
This set of four dining chairs were created for the “Goed Wonen”* .
*The Good Wonen Foundation in Amsterdam from 1946-1968 (The ‘Foundation Wonen’ until 1988) set itself the goal:
Living in the Netherlands to a higher level by improving the home furnishing in the broadest sense of the word, by promoting the production and distribution of furniture, upholstery, utensils, etc., which meet certain aesthetic, technical and social requirements .
An oak smoke chair is wrong;Rattan furniture are good.Flower wallpaper and heavy curtains are wrong;White walls and fresh shades are good!
The foundation wanted to free Dutch interior from the foul taste of the previous century.“Taste is a matter of education” was the idea behind the founding of the foundation in 1946. As a magazine and with model houses the foundation promoted the modern interior with light furniture – In this way the residents could maximise the potential of their environment and ultimately realise their own potential.
The ideas fitted well to the ideals of modernism; improving homes and furnishings as well as the people within them and society as a whole.
Marcel Breuer known for his association with the Bauhaus designed some of the most iconic chromed tubular metal furniture in the c20th. He was one of the masters of modernism. This stool is a compacted essay in space and material. Although its Thonet badge is now missing the remains of the pin can be seen impressed in the side.
It is common for the design of this rare lamp to be attributed to the Bauhaus designer Marianne Brandt for obvious reasons, including the fact that it is stamped GMF (Gotha Metal Fabric previously named Ruppel). The GMF company like Ruppel before them were known to have produced many of Brandt’s designs during the period. In addition the design is composed completely of geometric elements common to all of Brandt’s designs but especially because of the touch pad base that works as a switch. However, the original plastic shade we have never seen before which leads us to question whether this lamp was a particularly early production. Ultimately this is a rare version or a rare lamp – something of interest for any collectors of early modernism and modernist design.
It is lacquered in a seldom seen racing green colour and still has its original wiring in good condition.
The Dutch modernist architect, urban planner and furniture designer Mart Stam’s career intersects with important moments in the history of 20th-century European architecture, including chair design at the Bauhaus, the Weissenhof Estate, The Van Nelle Factory, buildings for Ernst May’s Frankfurt housing project, then to Russia with the idealistic May Brigade, to postwar reconstruction in Germany. His style of design has been classified as new Objectivity, an art movement formed during the depression in 1920’s Germany, as a counter-movement and an out growth of Expressionism.
This B263 cantilever chair retains its black surface.To the back is the small Thonet metal badge.
Literature: Deutsche Stahlrohrmöbel, p. 115; Mart Stam, p.8; Thonet Stahlrohrmöbel, p.15 (Variation).
Rare early Bas Van Pelt design modernist armchair.
Bas van Pelt began his shop ‘My Home’ in The Hague, Netherlands in 1931 and within a short period the company opened showrooms in other cities such as Maastricht and Amsterdam. The domestic interior design firm focused on producing high-quality modern interior furniture. Eventually right up until into the 1990s Bas van Pelt furniture and fabrics were also sold throughout The Netherlands and beyond by well-known modernist suppliers and manufacturers such as Thonet, D3, LOV and Gispen.
This Bas van Pelt design has its original red paintwork over metal frame, sesal (woven grass fibre) slung seat and back. This chair is thought to be a very early edition of the design as it has a solid frame as opposed to a hollow one that all the later ones had. This of course makes it somewhat heavier than the later editions.
A modernist table composed of an eight section chrome plated frame supporting a wooden table top.
The B 10 table was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1927 for his own company Standard Möbel, and since 1930 the piece has been manufactured by Thonet under the same designation. This is an early production circa 1930s (although the top has been restored at some point) The colour is a very pale blue/green. There is no Thonet company badge/label.
Walter Gropius (German, 1883-1969) redesign of Isokon plywood table/stool 1930s
A stool/table with removable tray top, manufactured by the Venesta Plywood Company, Estonia, 193os for Isokon, UK.
The stools were originally designed for the ‘Isobar’ restaurant/lounge within the modernist Lawn Road flats, London (see image). The Isobar restaurant was realised in 1937 after the communal kitchen in the building was converted to a design by Marcel Breuer and F.R.S.Yorke from the Modern Architectural Research Group (the MARS group). Trays were made for some of the stools so that customers cold take the tray to the bar when fetching drinks.
Alistair Greave’s 2004 book Isokon for Ease for Ever describes this rare variation of the plywood stools as having tighter designed cut out shapes than the regular versions seen in the image of the Isobar. He attributes this adaptation of the design to Walter Gropius who during the mid-1930s was in exile in London working for the Isokon group alongside British architects like Maxwell Fry and others. Their designs continued the dogmas of modernist ethics begun earlier at the Bauhaus; simplicity, economy and aesthetic beauty.
It retains its original circular tray built with a thinner plywood edge (they normally always have thicker edged trays to prevent warping) The thin edge is thought to have been part of Gropius’s redesign that may not have been put into production because of the structural difficulties. Both sections are marked by Venesta (the Estonian company employed by Pritchard to manufacture the Isokon plywood furniture)