Josef Frank - Design New York Tuesday, June 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Jackson Design AB, Stockholm
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2017

  • Literature

    Form, nos. 1-10, 1938, n.p.
    Josef Frank: 1885–1967 – Minnesutställning, exh., cat, National Museum of Stockholm, 1968, p. 33
    1885-1985: Josef Frank, 100 ar - Jubileumsutställning hösten 1985, exh. cat., Svenskt Tenn, Stockholm, 1985, p. 23
    Nina Stritzler-Levine, ed., Josef Frank, Architect and Designer: An Alternate Vision of the Modern Home, New Haven, 1996, p. 71
    Christopher Long, Josef Frank: Life and Work, Chicago, 2002, p. 235
    Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Herman Czech and Sebastian Hackenschmidt, Josef Frank: Against Design, The Architect's Anti-Formalist Oeuvre, exh. cat., Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, 2015, p. 310

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips would like to thank Per Ahldén of Svenskt Tenn for his assistance cataloguing the present lot.

    Josef Frank, who arrived in Sweden from Austria in 1933, played a major role shaping the burgeoning idea of “Swedish Modern” in his role as a designer for the Stockholm interior design company Svenskt Tenn. Frank favored a softer form of modernism characterized by eclectic, individualistic decors as opposed to the hard-lined, rational modernism advocated by Le Corbusier and others. He also diverged from the Swedish modern movement, which had a nationalistic agenda and upheld Swedish folk traditions and rustic materials. Instead, he often employed imported veneers and drew inspiration from international historical precedents, as evidenced by the present Flora cabinet, which he based on the seventeenth-century cabinet-on-stand form and constructed from mahogany. The printed botanical illustrations that clad the cabinet’s exterior are from the book Bilder ur Nordens Flora by the Swedish botanist Carl Axel Magnus Lindman. Frank believed patterned surfaces were more calming than monochromatic surfaces and employed the Flora pattern, in particular, in several designs. Svenskt Tenn presented the same cabinet model in a 1951 exhibition at Kaufman’s Department Store in Pittsburgh—a fitting choice for introducing Swedish design to America.

Property from a New York Collection


"Flora" cabinet, model no. 852

designed 1937, executed 1940s
Honduran mahogany-veneered wood, Honduran mahogany, printed paper.
55 3/4 x 44 3/8 x 16 3/4 in. (141.6 x 112.7 x 42.5 cm)
Manufactured by Svenskt Tenn, Stockholm, Sweden. Exterior covered with paper illustrations from Nordens Flora by C. A. Lindman.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $138,600

Contact Specialist

Benjamin Green
Associate Specialist

Associate Head of Sale

[email protected]
+1 917 207 9090


New York Auction 7 June 2022