Uno Åhrén - Design London Thursday, October 17, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Swedish Exhibition of Industrial Art London, exh. cat., Stockholm, 1931, fig. 49
    Möbler: Firma Svenskt Tenn, Stockholm, 1931, p. 6
    Gustaf Munthe, Moderna Möbler, Stockholm, 1931, fig. 20
    Monica Boman, et al., Svenska Möbler: 1890-1990, Lund, 1991, p. 192

  • Catalogue Essay

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

    The present design was exhibited at the Swedish Exhibition of Industrial Art, Dorland House, London, 17 March–22 April 1931 and Svenskt Tenn’s inaugural furniture exhibition, Galerie Moderne, Stockholm, September 1931.

    The founder of Svenskt Tenn, Estrid Ericson commissioned the Swedish architect and city planner Uno Åhrén to design furniture for the company in the early 1930s. The clear distinction between the cushions and painted-wood frame of the present model armchair reflects Åhrén’s functionalist approach to industrial design, whilst retaining a distinctively Nordic humanity through the use of natural materials. The armchair was paired with an abstract sealskin rug designed by the architect Jan Ruhtenberg at both the London and Stockholm exhibitions. Åhrén also designed a variation of the model in tubular metal, manufactured by Gebrüder Schürmann, Germany, for the International Exhibition for Interior Design (IRA), Cologne, which opened in October of that year. The armchair designs demonstrate the influence of Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret’s tubular steel ‘Fauteuil Grand Confort’ armchair, designed in 1928 and exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, Paris in 1929.


Pair of rare armchairs

circa 1931
Painted elm, fabric.
Each: 74.5 x 69.6 x 71 cm (29 3/8 x 27 3/8 x 27 7/8 in.)
Manufactured by Svenskt Tenn, Stockholm, Sweden. Underside of each incised II and V respectively.

£3,000 - 5,000 

Sold for £7,500

Contact Specialist
Antonia King
Interim Head of Sale
+44 20 7901 7944


London Auction 17 October 2019