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11

Gerrit Rietveld

"Schröder" Upright Chair

Estimate:

25,000

to
- 35,000 USD

Gerrit Rietveld

Gerrit Rietveld

"Schröder" Upright Chair

"Schröder" Upright Chair

Estimate:

25,000

to
- 35,000 USD

Lot sold:

189,000

USD

Gerrit Rietveld

"Schröder" Upright Chair


circa 1928-1930

executed by Metz & Co., The Netherlands

silver-painted steel, lacquered plywood

32¾ x 17⅝ x 20¼ in. (83.1 x 44.7 x 51.4 cm)

Overall in very good condition. A well-preserved example of this incredibly rare form, the present chair can be situated as amongst the earliest of Rietveld’s designs for steel-framed furniture. The chair includes a backrest that fully and easily rotates onto itself at a 360 degree angle, as designed by Rietveld. The wooden surfaces are in age-appropriate condition throughout. The wood presents with light surface scratches and indentations concentrated to the seat (the largest at the center measuring approximately 1/2 inch wide) as well as occasional, very minimal hairlines consistent with age and the natural evolution of the medium. As pictured in the catalogue photography, the paint retains its vibrant original red color and presents with some expected losses to the paint throughout, most pronounced to the edges and corners and consistent with gentle use.

The silver-painted steel surface presents with some age-appropriate wear throughout, scratches and very minor abrasions concentrated to the base consistent with use. As pictured in the catalogue photography, the silvering with some losses throughout which adds tonal complexity to the colors of the metal. The steel undersurface presents with some very light oxidation throughout consistent with age. In addition to its rarity and desirability, the present chair represents an important pivot from the artisanal workshop production of earlier models towards the aspirations for serial p


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.

Fischer Fine Art, London
Private Collection
Wright, Chicago, May 18, 2003, lot 144
Daniele Baroni, The Furniture of Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, New York, 1978, p. 96, no. 33
Walter König, Stühle aus Stahl: Metallmöbel 1925-1940, Cologne, 1980, p. 106
Pioneers of Modern Furniture, exh. cat., Fischer Fine Art, London, 1991, no. 4 (for the present lot illustrated)
Marijke Kuper and Ida van Zijl, The Complete Works of Gerrit Rietveld, Utrecht, 1992, p. 128, no. 148 (described as "upright chair")
Peter Vöge, The Complete Rietveld Furniture, Rotterdam, 1993, pp. 20 and 65, pl. 64 (described as "Schröder chair")
Charlotte and Peter Fiell, 1000 Chairs, Cologne, 2005, p. 194
Rob Dettingmeijer, ed., Rietveld's Universe, Rotterdam 2010, p. 143 (for the model in the collections of the Centraal Museum, Utrecht)
Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Rietveld, London, 2012, p. 92 (described as "upright chair")
Pioneers of Modern Furniture, Fischer Fine Art, London, 1990

Sotheby’s would like to thank Rob Driessen and Jurjen Creman for their assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.


The present chair can be situated as amongst the earliest of Rietveld’s designs for steel-framed furniture, and represents an important pivot from the artisanal workshop production of earlier models, towards the aspirations for serial production that would be realized with the Beugelstoel during the late 1920s and into the 1930s. Of simple rectilinear profile, and with modest concessions to comfort offered by the angled seat and hinged back, the design acknowledges the pioneering metal furniture then being developed at the Bauhaus, whilst maintaining the graphic formality of Rietveld’s billet furniture of the early 1920s.

Only three examples of this important transitional design are known to exist. One of these, with black-painted seat and grey-painted frame and with provenance to Truus Schröder, is today in the collection of the Centraal Museum, Utrecht. The third example, with provenance given as the Schröder House, was sold at Sotheby’s Amsterdam in 1988. The location of this example, which featured grey-painted seating elements and a silver-painted frame, is currently not recorded.

Whilst reference to this model’s association with Truus Schröder is persuasive, the earliest published photograph of the model dates to the “Erasmulaan” model home exhibition of October 1931, and there exists reference to another example being again exhibited the following year at the Werkbundsiedlung, Vienna 1932.

Of these three examples, the present chair is the only example to celebrate the constructivist personality of the structure through the bright primary colors associated with De Stijl. This important and presumably unique variant was included in the seminal 1991 exhibition “Pioneers of Modern Furniture” curated by Fischer Fine Art in London, a retrospective that is today widely regarded as having been pivotal to the reappraisal of important Modernist design.

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S. A.