Steltman Chair (Right)
Steltman Chair (Right)
designed 1963, executed circa 1965-1970
executed by Gerard van de Groenekan, The Netherlands
branded H.G.M./G.A. v.d. GROENEKAN/DE BILT NEDERLAND
27⅛ x 19 x 17⅜ in. (69 x 48.2 x 43.6 cm)
Overall very good condition. The present “Steltman” chair and the following lot, each respectively conceived as right and left-hand versions, provide collectors with the opportunity to acquire a complementary set consistent with Rietveld’s original concept for the Steltman Jewelry Shop in The Hague. The wooden surfaces present with light surface scratches and minor abrasions concentrated to the edges of the base and to the legs, consistent with gentle use. The wooden surfaces with some extremely fine hairlines which are stable and not visible unless closely inspected. The upper rear corner of the seat with an area of minute loss to the wood measuring approximately 1/4 inch wide and not visually distracting. The present lot presents with a slightly more cream color to the paint when compared to the following lot, and exhibits complex tones ranging from off-white to beige when viewed firsthand. The painted surfaces are in age-appropriate condition with some occasional light fading and small losses to the paint concentrated to the edges and corners of the work. The underside of the base with four later protective felt pads. A well-preserved and functional example of Rietveld’s celebrated last design.
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.
This design was originally created for the Steltman Jewellery Shop in the The Hague, and was conceived as both left- and right-hand versions that could be associated to create a single seating element. A remarkable design in which positive and negative space occupy equal resonance, the “Steltman” chair must be regarded as a masterpiece, and was the last chair designed by Rietveld before his death the following year. The two chairs originally created for the jewellery store were upholstered in white leather, and are now lost. According to Tjerd Deelstra, a former pupil of Rietveld at the Delft Technical University, the architect had informed him that the lightly transparent cream stain utilized on this and other designs, was selected out of appreciation for the salt-bleached driftwood to be found nearby on the beaches of The Hague.
- S. A.