Gerrit Thomas Rietveld - Design New York Monday, December 16, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection of the designer
    Bertus Mulder, Utrecht, circa 1961
    Christie’s, Amsterdam, "The Decorative Arts Sale," October 3, 2012, lot 456

  • Literature

    Daniele Baroni, The Furniture of Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, New York, 1978, pp. 30, 37
    Marijke Küper and Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Th. Rietveld 1888-1964, The Complete Works, exh. cat., Centraal Museum, Utrecht, 1992, p. 61, cat. no. 7
    Peter Vöge, The Complete Rietveld Furniture, Rotterdam, 1993, p. 45, fig. 4
    Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Rietveld, London, 2010, pp. 21, 222

  • Catalogue Essay

    Architect Bertus Mulder, who owned the present lot for a half century, worked as a freelancer in Gerrit Rietveld’s studio in the early 1960s. When he and his girlfriend were expecting their second child in 1961, Rietveld offered them the use of his then-vacant former apartment above the movie theater at 8 Vredenburg, central Utrecht. As Mulder
    has stated, Rietveld lent him not only his keys but also the use of his furnishings, among them the present lot. When Mulder later arranged for the de-acquisition of the apartment’s contents to various museums, Rietveld allowed him to keep various works including a table, a bench, and the present lot.

    In The Complete Rietveld Furniture (Rotterdam, 1993, p. 44), Peter Vöge notes two examples of the present model, which Rietveld made circa 1908 while a young draughtsman for jeweler C.J. Begeer.

  • Artist Biography

    Gerrit Thomas Rietveld

    Dutch • 1888 - 1964

    Gerrit Thomas Rietveld began as an apprentice in his father's cabinetmaking workshop, going on to train and work as a draftsman. In 1917 he started his own furniture-making workshop in Utrecht. Positive critical review by Theo van Doesburg in his journal De Stijl resulted in near-instantaneous influence on broader developments in European modernism. This connection to the De Stijl movement also inspired him to introduce color to the posts, rails and terminals of his furniture. His resulting "Red-blue" armchair is among the most iconic chair designs of the twentieth century.

    From the beginning, Rietveld embraced modernist principles of functionalism, simplicity of form and mass-production, and eventually moved away from De Stijl to become a member of the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Rietveld worked through the post-war years, completing a number of private residences, housing developments and institutions. He continued to design furniture for these commissions as well as for retailers like Metz & Co.

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circa 1908
Painted wood, leather, brass.
21 1/2 x 23 5/8 x 15 3/4 in. (54.6 x 60 x 40 cm)
Underside branded later with H.G.M./G.A.v.d.GROENEKAN/DE BILT NEDERLAND and with a pencil drawing purportedly depicting Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands.

$15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for $18,750

Contact Specialist
Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale, New York
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1266


New York 17 December 2013 2pm