designed circa 1928, executed early 1930s
executed by Metz & Co., The Netherlands
silver-painted steel, painted plywood
29 x 15⅝ x 23½ in. (73.6 x 39.6 x 59.6 cm)
Overall in very good condition. When viewed firsthand, the yellow paint presents with a bright and dynamic presence, enhancing the clean lines and geometric structure of the “Beugel” chair. The painted wood surfaces present with light surface scratches throughout, very minor edge abrasions and minute scattered nicks concentrated to the edges which are consistent with gentle use. The yellow paint presents with evidence of later, though not recent, overpainting to the original yellow coating. As pictured in the catalogue photography, the wood presents with occasional cracking and resulting minor losses to the yellow paint, most visible to the bottom edge of the seat covering an area measuring approximately 6 x 1 inches. The paint presents with occasional and small losses concentrated to the edges and around the screws, as well as occasional, scattered and very minor fading concentrated to the underside of the seat covering an area measuring approximately 5 x 1 inches.
The silver-painted steel surfaces are in age-appropriate condition, with light scratches throughout, occasional scattered nicks and some occasional losses to the silver paint which are not visually distracting. The underside of the seat with one minute circular hole to the metal which appears to be inherent to production. One hex nut is missing from its bolt on one leg.
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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Sotheby’s would like to thank Rob Driessen and Jurjen Creman for their assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.
Rietveld’s designs for “Beugelstoele”, or “Frame Chairs”, underlined the architect’s quest for reductive rationalism in his furniture designs, evolving the narrative that was initiated with his ‘Red Blue’ open armchairs of 1919, with the graphic minimalism of the Zig-Zag chairs of 1932. Unlike the ‘Schroder’, or ‘upright’ chairs of around the same period, and which retained the rectilinear aesthetic consistent with those earlier models, the various types of “Beugelstoele” offered a more sinuous, organic styling to their structure, enhanced by the dynamic curves of the steel structure paired with a curvaceous, ergonomic seat. Contextualizing the “Beugelstoel” to the late 1920s, it remains challenging to imagine society’s willingness to accommodate such reductive, minimalist structures, and yet the model was popular enough to remain in production with Metz until at least the early 1930s. Beyond the unique technical and aesthetic innovations of the design, Rietveld’s real triumph with the “Beugelstoel” was to deliver a functionalist, industrialized product that was now democratized as aspirational and stylish concept.
- S. A.