Design Agenda: The Collection of Michael Maharam

Design Agenda: The Collection of Michael Maharam

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 11. "Schröder" Upright Chair.

Gerrit Rietveld

"Schröder" Upright Chair

Auction Closed

October 15, 05:11 PM GMT


25,000 - 35,000 USD

Lot Details


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)

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")

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.

S. A.