Design Agenda: The Collection of Michael Maharam

Design Agenda: The Collection of Michael Maharam

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 10. "Beugel" Chair.

Gerrit Rietveld

"Beugel" Chair

Auction Closed

October 15, 05:11 PM GMT


15,000 - 20,000 USD

Lot Details


Gerrit Rietveld

"Beugel" Chair

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)

Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Berlin, 2001
Daniele Baroni, The Furniture of Gerrit Rietveld, Woodbury, 1978, p. 116, no. 19
Marijke Küper and Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Th. Rietveld, Utrecht, 1992, p. 118
Peter Vöge, The Complete Rietveld Furniture, Rotterdam, 1993, pp. 74-75, pl. 91
Gerrit Rietveld: A Centenary Exhibition, exh. cat., Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, 1988, p. 45
Rob Dettingmeijer, ed., Rietvelds Universum, Rotterdam 2010, p. 141 (for the model illustrated in a contemporary photograph of the Erasmuslaan interior dated 1931)
Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Rietveld, London, 2012, p. 99

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.