Carl Hörvik - Nordic Design London Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Carl Hörvik, Ekorrvägen, Stockholm
    Thence by descent to Ulla Hörvik, Ekorrvägen, Stockholm
    Stockholms Auktionsverk, 2009
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Carl Hörvik grew up in a bourgeois home in southern Sweden in the late nineteenth century. Except for the obvious advantage of growing up privileged, the well-heeled life afforded young Carl an understanding of the architectural requirements of a prosperous family living in a complex domestic setting similar to the one by Ingmar Bergman in the film 'Fanny & Alexander' and characterised by the intricate play between private and public spheres.

    The Hörviks made it possible for their artistic son to aspire to an education in the capital. At twenty-three, he attended the school of architecture in Stockholm together with fellow students Oswald Almqvist and Gunnar Asplund. It is noted that in this company Hörvik was seen as maybe the greatest talent of his generation.

    At the time, a young man’s common education, based on classical architecture, was enhanced in subsequent years by a Grand Tour of Italy. For example, Gunnar Asplund and Folke Bensow travelled together to Rome, Pompeii, Tunis, and Venice, where they stayed for a month on their return to Sweden in 1921. Hörvik, greatly impressed by British architecture, travelled instead to England for his postgraduate studies. He was perhaps the only Swedish architect at the time with an indepth first-hand understanding of that country’s architecture.

    The English journey, together with Hörvik’s knowledge of the bourgeois lifestyle, was critical to his early success in Swedish design, but also a key to his later problems. Three exhibitions made Hörvik’s legacy at the time: the Chinese inspired grand hallway at the Jubileumsutställningen (Jubilee Exhibition), Gothenburg (1923), of which nothing is known to exist; the room of honor in the Swedish pavilion at the Paris exhibition 1925, where a display cabinet and two chairs are in the collection of Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; and finally Villa Hörvik at Ekorrvägen 7, Äppelviken outside Stockholm. The house was one of six houses designed by Hörvik for the exhibition 'Bygge och Bo', 1927, where Hörvik aimed "to build a home for people not for representation". This truly modern house, characterized by exposed brick floor, perspective windows, and a small forest of pilars in the living room, is a gem of Swedish architecture.

    Phillips wishes to thank Thomas Ekström for his assistance with the cataloguing of the present lot.


Unique armchair

Painted wood, fabric.
73.8 x 58.5 x 59.2 cm (29 x 23 x 23 1/4 in.)
Produced by Nordiska Kompaniet, Stockholm, Sweden.

£6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for £7,500

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Nordic Design

London Auction 1 October 2015