Ko Verzuu (Netherlands 1901-1971)
ADO small table – Circa. 1930s
Between 1925 and 1955 influenced by the Dutch Modernist De Stijl painters and designers Ko Verzuu designed many children’s toys. His designs were inextricably bound up with innovations in art, health care and pedagogy in the first half of the 20th century. In 1920, the sanatorium Berg en Bosch was founded in the sanctuary on the outskirts of Apeldoorn. This sanatorium offered rest and care to tuberculosis patients.
Once patients had recovered from their illness, returning to regular working life often proved to be difficult. In order to prepare patients better for their reintegration, the sanatorium developed a modern treatment: occupational therapy.
One of the ways this took shape was in the production of wooden toys. These toys were given the name ADO; an abbreviation that initially stood for Arbeid door Onvolwaardigen (Labour by the Deficient), but was wisely changed to Apart Doelmatig Onverwoestbaar (Special Functional Indestructible) in 1962.
Occasionally ADO made actual ‘real sized’ furniture – This is a very rare small table made by ADO during the 1930s. All original and in great condition…although the top shows signs of age as would be expected.
Yrjö Ilmari Tapiovaara
Manufactured by Laukaan Puu Finland, late 1950s as a very limited edition.
A dark varnished Pine and beech wood structure with green rexine doors and black painted wooden legs.
The Pirkka range by the Finnish interior architect and designer Ilmari Tapiovaara is one of the most popular Finnish furniture ranges qualifying with an almost cult status in the mid-century modern markets. The Pirkka range was designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara in 1955 and it alludes to the forms of Finnish rustic furniture.
With the mind of an explorer and soul of a craftsman, Ilmari Tapiovaara was always seeking for new solutions to improve everyday objects. Tapiovaara is especially revered as a modernist master of characteristic, human objects and surroundings.
Although Pirkka series furniture is fairly common to find, the sideboards are what can only be described as ‘rare as hen’s teeth’; possibly one of the rarest of Tapiovaara’s designs.
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Ref: Svenskberg, Aila (ed.): Ilmari Tapiovaara: Life and Design. Translated by Jüri Kokkonen. Helsinki: Designmuseo, 2014
Dutch modernist reception desk. Circa 1930s-50s.
Painted steel. Beech wood slats and composite stone top.
The exact provenance of this desk is unknown but it reputedly came out of a shop/store in Amsterdam during the mid-c20th. It has affinities with Gerrit Rietveld’s designs of the era.
It shows signs of age and use – the rubber stops are very dry and worn, the steel has old over painting.
Some minor sympathetic restorations.