Details & Cataloguing

Design: Living in a Material World


Peder Moos
inlaid with the artist's monogram and inscribed 1968 / Kunstindustrimuseet / København. 1942. / Nationalmuseet. 1943. Stokholm. / Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum. / Trondheim. 1952.
Brazilian rosewood, boxwood
57 x 70 x 52.5 cm (22  1/2  x 27  1/2  x 20  5/8  in.)
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report


Dr Gert Poulsen, Denmark
Bruun Rasmussen, 29 September, 2016, lot 1153
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Grete Jalk, Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, vol. 3, 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, p. 176 for a related example
Arne Karlsen, Danish Furniture Design in the 20th Century: vol. 2, Copenhagen, 2007, p. 111 for a related example
Anne Bony, Peder Moos dit P., Paris, 2014, n.p., for a related example

Catalogue Note

Peder Moos (1906-1991) took his inspiration directly from nature.  He was uncompromising in his craftsmanship and had an ability to shape wood as if it were clay. His designs possess a strong organic quality combined with an extreme degree of precision found in few other cabinetmakers. He once explained his approach to design and craft in the following words: ‘The best material is solid wood; its quality may be sensed at a touch of the hand. The second type of wood should be a different colour from the first but boast the same density. Inlays, dowels and tenons emphasise both the shape and technique used. These various components breathe life into furniture’.

The master cabinet maker worked entirely alone. As a result, the planning, execution and finishing of each work was time consuming and costly but flawlessly executed. A client, when commissioning a work, would not be given a date of completion, a cost, or even an idea of the final shape of the piece. To visualise the shape and avoid costly errors, each design was prototyped in a less expensive wood before being executed in a final, more exotic and precious wood. His pieces can be regarded as the pinnacle in both design and craftsmanship in cabinetmaking.

The present lot is accompanied by a group of eight hand written letters from Peder Moos to Dr. Gert Poulsen. The first letter was written on 3 April 1968 with Moos declaring ‘It is becoming a table – so if there is a little money to spare, the table will much appreciate it.’ The correspondence continues for the following seven months. On 30 August, Moos hesitantly reveals the cost: ‘This should be read at the very end, either sitting or lying down and with the finest medical remedies within reach… the table costs DKK 6,000… if only I knew how painful this is.’ Moos viewed the execution of the table as a ‘holy task’ and laid out explicit instructions on how to care for the table after its delivery to ensure longevity. It is clear that these instructions were followed to the letter, as the table remains in the same excellent condition as when it was received by Dr. Poulsen in 1968.

The model was first presented at the Danish Cabinetmakers exhibition in 1942 and is referenced in the Design Museum Danmark Furniture Index under RP04716. The same model was subsequently exhibited at the National Museum in Stockholm (1943) and Nordenfjelske Kunstindustrimuseum in Trondheim (1952).


Design: Living in a Material World