Alvar Aalto - Design Day New York Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Helsinki
    Phillips, London, "Nordic Design," September 26, 2013, lot 202
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    "Finmar: Furniture of the future for the home of To-day," Finmar, sales catalogue, London, 1939, p. 22
    Alvar Aalto, Alvar Aalto: Designer, Helsinki, 2002, p. 173 for a similar example
    Thomas Kellein, ed. alvar & aino aalto. design collection bischofberger, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Zurich, 2005, p. 97 for a similar example

  • Artist Biography

    Alvar Aalto

    Finnish • 1898 - 1976

    In contrast with the functionalism of the International Style (as well the neoclassicism put forward by the Nazi and Soviet regimes), Alvar Aalto brought a refreshing breath of humanism to modern design: "True architecture exists only where man stands in the center," he wrote. Aalto designed furniture in stack-laminated plywood composed of Finnish birch, which was cost-effective and lent warmth to his interiors. Aalto also revived Finnish glass design with his entries in the various Karhula-Iitala glassworks competitions throughout the 1930s.

    In 1936 he won first place for a collection of colorful, wavy vases in various sizes titled Eskimoerindens skinnbuxa (The Eskimo Woman’s Leather Breeches). The vases were an immediate success and the most popular size, now known as the "Savoy" vase, is still in production today. Aalto's freeform designs, in harmony with human needs and nature, anticipated the organic modernism of the 1950s and 1960s; in particular, his innovations in bent plywood had a major impact on designers such as Charles and Ray Eames.

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Property from a Private Miami Beach Collection


Pair of rare extendable "L-leg" tables

Birch, plastic laminate-covered birch.
Each: 28 x 44 x 30 in. (71.1 x 111.8 x 76.2 cm) fully extended
Manufactured by O.y. Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas A.b., Turku, for Artek, Finland.

$7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for $16,250

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Design Day

New York Auction 13 December 2018