In the reconstruction period after the second world war, the Dutch architect and furniture designer Hein Stolle experimented with new materials and techniques for the cost effective mass-production of furniture. As a furniture designer, Stolle was a member of Groep & (which comprised Wim den Boon, Hein Stolle and Pierre Kleykamp, 1946-1950). In the early 1950s Stolle designed furniture for the distinguished department stores de Bijenkorf and Metz & Co, often in cooperation with Martin Visser. And in the 1950s and ‘60s he also designed various pieces of furniture for furniture factory ’t Spectrum.
This model (Stolwijk) was only produced for a very limited period in the mid-50s
c20th Paolo Piva style coffee table (1960s-80s) 110cm x 110cm x 40cm
This sculptural table is very reminiscent of the tables designed by Italian designer Paolo Piva for B&B Italia. It has an amazingly sculptural form that is emphasised by the thick square pewter glass top.
We are still researching this small table. It has similarities to various under-appreciated early British modernist designer/makers from the early c20th including Gerald Summers, Isokon/ Jack Pritchard etc. and captures the spirit of the early British constructivist architects and artists.
A handful of designer/makers like Summers and Isokon used plywood before the WWII. Unlike most other furniture makers of the day, they did not feel compelled to cover it in a veneer of a more exotic wood. In the early 30s Summers began to experiment with a special kind of plywood called “aeroplane ply” and, as Martha Deese wrote in the Journal of Design History, “this exceptionally thin and flexible material had a revolutionary impact on Summers’s emerging style” (Martha Deese, “Gerald Summers and Makers of Simple Furniture,” Journal of Design History, vol. 5, no. 3 (1992), pp. 183–205). During the period plywood enabled designers to evolve an organic idiom of curved surfaces and curvilinear outlines, which exploited the inherent capabilities of this pliable material. (*Cerio,2009)
The base of its sculptural design is made from 3mm aeroplane ply. The top that swivels around the base in three section can be folded away or left up as shown. The top is a thicker plywood.
Elmar Berkovich was born in Budapest but during his early twenties fled to The Netherlands. There he became a highly valued and productive Dutch interior and furniture designer, designing furniture for Metz & Co throughout the 1930s, and later after 1947, for the Philips factories in Eindhoven and for ‘t Spectrum furniture company.
The modern movement was well underway in The Netherlands when Berkovich arrived and later it was Berkovich who was largely responsible for introducing innovative designs by modernists like Rietveld, Breuer, Huszar and van der leck (among others) to the Metz & Co. store.
In the 1960s retrospective exhibitions of his work in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1962) and later in Eindhoven (1963) in the Van Abbemuseum.
This Berkovich designed table is named the ‘Groesbeek’ side table. It was manufactured as a very limited edition by the ‘t Sprectrum company in the 1950s. It is totally original and in very good condition. The smaller image shows another table (variation) available named the ‘Beek’ table.
The Dutch architect Wim Den Boon alongside Hein Stolle and Pierre Kleykamp formed the ‘Group&’ in the period shortly after WWII as part of the Dutch ‘Goed Wonen’ (Good living) movement. They focused on designing purist interior furniture and design that fitted in seamlessly with the functionalist designs of the thirties.
By the 1950s Den Boon broke with ‘Group &’ and established himself as an independent furniture designer in The Hague. From that time and throughout the 60s he was responsible for many interiors and renovation projects, particularly in The Hague. These two tables (one shown) were designed as part of the interiors of one of those projects – The tables can be seen within the complete interior of a house in the images of Peter Voge’s biography of Den Boon.
As seen, the design of these tables was ahead of its time – There are visible influences of Rietveld and De Stijl or even the Scandinavian designs of Kjaerholm. At his best Den Boon designed some of the most futuristic interiors during the 1950s. His furniture is rare to find and most of it can only be experienced through photographic documentation.
49cm x 49cm x 49cm x 43cm High.
Ref: Peter Voge “Wim Den Boon Binnenhuisarchitect”