Finmar labels to the underside of the table and to one of the chairs (the other shows evidence of where the label once was).
Each piece has a very good period colour and shows patina of wear and tear as would be expected and hoped for. The Finmar labels are recognised evidence of them being early edition genuine 1930s examples.
(please see our other posts for more Aalto Finmar designs including four stools and an armchair)
Two stacking cream white lacquered plywood side tables. Isokon UK.
Designed in 1936 Breuer whilst in the UK began to explore plywood as a material. During that period Breuer designed several classic modernist pieces that were put into production by Jack Pritchard of Isokon.
A small sideboard originally made for Heals, London in the 1940s-50s by Vesper furniture company (Note: The small circular hole can be seen above one drawer where the Heals label would have been). Inside the drawers are made bent beech plywood.
We have two of these available as well as a small set of drawers. We believe that the sideboard was part of a set of bedroom furniture made by Vesper furniture for Heals in very limited numbers in the late 40s/ early 50s – very rare. It has design similarities to the 1950s designs by Dutch designer Cees Braakman for Pastoe furniture.
Isokon Long Chair (early 1960s production) – Upholstered plywood
The Hungarian-born, modernist architect and furniture designer was one of the masters of Modernism. Breuer extended the sculptural vocabulary he had developed in the carpentry shop at the Bauhaus into a personal architecture that made him one of the world’s most popular architects at the peak of 20th-Century design.
Breuer came to Britain in the mid-1930s following the closure of the Bauhaus by the Nazis. He became acquainted with Jack Pritchard the owner of Isokon, who suggested he design furniture for the company. Pritchard had become interested in the plywood designs of Alvar Aalto and wanted to produce similar furniture himself. The Long Chair was an adaptation of a previous design for an aluminium framed chaise Breuer had produced in 1932.
The Long Chair was designed by Breuer for the British Isokon company in 1935-36 and is considered one of the most important pieces of furniture to emerge from the inter-war modern movement.
In 1968, Pritchard licensed John Alan Designs, based in Camden, London to produce the Long Chair – John Alan manufactured the chair according to larger measurements in order to make the chair more 60s-friendly. This chair is thought to pre-date that period as it still retains the older smaller measurements. The upholstery is showing distinct signs of age and use.
Rare version of the “Kakkonen” stackable armchair No. 2. /15. Manufactured by Oy Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab, Turku, Finland. 1930s.
Finmar label to the underside.
A good example of Aaltos formative years and early designs; this chair is made from laminated and solid birch and retains its original black finish.
Co-designed by Alvar Aalto and Otto Korhonen in 1930, the chair was manufactured over the years as four differing versions. This version is the rarest of the four. The design is similar to one of other versions in that the front legs protrude at the side. However, the front edge of the seat on this version is formed as a more severe right angle as shown in the detail fig.1 (The other version with protruding legs was rounded at the front). It also has a small decorative corner feature when seen from the front that is reminiscent of traditional Chinese chairs.
The chair was illustrated in Alvar Aalto Designer, Alvar Aalto museum p.69 and in Alvar & Aino design collection Bischofberger p.21
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.
These chairs are examples of the more seldom seen larger scaled furniture made by ADO.
The Wilhelmiina 32 chair was designed in 1959. The legs are constructed in laminated birch with “fountain bend”. The suspended seat and back are in black lacquered moulded plywood.
The design is reminiscent of Alvar Aalto, whom Tapiovaara counted as a strong influence. In World War II Tapiovaara designed dugouts and field furniture to the Finnish Army, a challenging task given that only local wood and simple tools could be used, and no nails or screws were available.
Manufacturers label to the underside.
Ref: Svenskberg, Aila (ed.): Ilmari Tapiovaara: Life and Design. Translated by Jüri Kokkonen. Helsinki: Designmuseo, 2014