Lot 23
  • 23

Gerrit Th. Rietveld (1888-1964)

20,000 - 30,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Gerrit Th. Rietveld
  • Steltman Stoel
  • with the branded mark Van de Groenekan
  • solid oak, stained in white

  • 69,8 by 48, 8 by 44, 8 cm.
  • Designed in 1963 and executed in 1976 by G. van de Groenekan.


Acquired directly from G. van de Groenekan, De Bilt 1976


M. Küper and I. van Zijl, Gerrit Th. Rietveld 1888 - 1964, Het volledige werk, Utrecht 1992, p. 332, no. 646


overall good and original, general traces of age, use & wear, minor dents, scratches and chips along the edges and to the lower parts of the legs, some damage (very small parts of wood chipped off) to the back edge of the back rest. The white staining with logical wear (seat, armrest), numerous minor water stains, the surface shows remains of a light yellow-brown varnish (probably originally colourless but discoloured over time). The connection of the small horizontal cross-section to the hind leg restored; a vertical crack (ca. 10 cm long) running upwards from the base of the leg indicates that the connection was weakened. This has been restored (probably by Van de Groenekan) with a metal strip attached with screws underneath the base connecting the two segments (invisible from normal view point; a slit has been made in the wood to fit in the metal strip). The restoration has caused the horizontal segment of the base to bent a few millimeters upwards, making the chair slightly instable
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Art historian Pieter Singelenberg (Tilburg 1918 - The Hague 2007) was closely connected to his alma mater Utrecht University for most of his career, studying Art History from 1941 - 1953, specializing in 19th and 20th century Architecture and conferring a doctor's degree in 1971 on the work of Dutch architect H. P. Berlage. In 1978, Singelenberg was appointed professor in Modern Art History by Nijmegen University from which he retired in 1984. Singelenberg published and lectured widely in his field, in The Netherlands as well as abroad, gradually expanding his focus from 19th-century architectural pioneers such as Berlage to their modernist heirs such as Rietveld.

The personal friendship between Pieter Singelenberg and Gerrit Rietveld started in 1957, a few years after Singelenberg had purchased a house at Robert Schumannstraat in Utrecht, designed by Rietveld in 1932 as part of a white-plastered modernist row of four houses imbedded in a neighbourhood of traditional brick-façade villa's. Singelenberg called on the architect's office to inquire about the right colour scheme for his house, which had been altered by its previous owners. Already a few days later, Rietveld visited Singelberg at home, a pen and notebook at hand. From that day onwards, a warm friendship developed between the Singelenberg family and Gerrit Rietveld and Truus Schröder.

In the same year, the American art historian Theodore Brown came to Utrecht to study the work of Rietveld. Singelenberg introduced his colleague to the architect, who initially was slightly uncomfortable with the idea of somebody researching his achievements before his death. In the years to follow, Singelenberg and Brown both published and lectured on Rietveld and, after the architect's death in 1964, rallied for recognition and preservation of his work. Apart from his numerous other functions and commissions, Singelenberg was co-founder and secretary of the Rietveld Schröder House Foundation and co-founder and chairman of the Rietveld Award Foundation.

Together with his wife Miep Singelenberg - Van der Meer, a renowned specialist of Dutch Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass and ceramics, Singelenberg assembled an ecclectic collection of modern art and design (see lot ... for an early work on paper by Bart van der Leck). The Rietveld furniture here offered for sale was acquired between 1958 and 1980 from Rietveld's trusted assistant and master cabinet-maker Gerard van de Groenekan (1904 - 1994), who was in charge of executing the architect's furniture designs from the 1920's onwards.

Rob Driessen, with thanks to Pieter Singelenberg jr.
We kindly thank drs Rob Driessen for his contribution to the catalogue text of this and the following works by Rietveld.

Miscellaneous from the Singelenberg collection will be sold by Van Stockum Auctioneers The Hague,
5 December 2007