Design Agenda: The Collection of Michael Maharam

Design Agenda: The Collection of Michael Maharam

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. "Zig-Zag" Easy Chair.

Gerrit Rietveld

"Zig-Zag" Easy Chair

Auction Closed

October 15, 05:11 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


Gerrit Rietveld

"Zig-Zag" Easy Chair

designed 1934, executed 1939-1947

executed by Gerard van de Groenekan or Metz & Co., The Netherlands

mahogany, brass bolts

26½ x 21⅜ x 22 in. (67.3 x 54.3 x 55.8 cm)

Private Collection, The Netherlands
Thence by descent
Sotheby’s Amsterdam, June 7, 2004, lot 192
Galerie Frans Leidelmeijer, Amsterdam, 2007
Daniele Baroni, The Furniture of Gerrit Thomas Rietveld,  New York, 1978, p.  133, no. 53
Gerrit Rietveld:  A Centenary Exhibition, exh. cat., Barry Friedman Gallery, New York, 1988, p. 53
Marijke Küper and Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Th. Rietveld: The Complete Works, Utrecht, 1992, p. 146 (for a related model without openworked backrest)
Peter Vöge, The Complete Rietveld Furniture, Rotterdam, 1993, p. 87 (for a related model without openworked backrest)
Luca Dosi Delfini, The Furniture Collection, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2004, p. 316
Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Rietveld, London, 2012, p. 103

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

The most elemental of all of Rietveld’s chair designs, the “Zig-Zag” endures as amongst the most important and influential of all modern furniture design, rendering a structure that becomes invisible once the occupant is seated. With architectural presence that belies ergonomic simplicity, the concept provided ample opportunity for multiple variations, including both arm and armless versions, low lounge variations, and even a child’s high-chair. The present example, rare to be executed in mahogany, incorporates full-height arms to deliver load-bearing capacity, and a series of circular perforations, here heightened with white chalk for contrast. This armchair originally formed part of a small group of commissioned furnishings, to also include a set of six “Zig-Zag” dining chairs and a dining table, dispersed in 2004 from the original commissioning state.

- S. A.