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

Gerrit Rietveld

"Zig-Zag" Easy Chair

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Gerrit Rietveld

Gerrit Rietveld

"Zig-Zag" Easy Chair

"Zig-Zag" Easy Chair

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Lot sold:

107,100

USD

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)

Overall in very good condition. This rare example of the “Zig Zag” easy chair with arms was executed in mahogany and is in very well-preserved condition overall. The chair is stable and with no apparent structural issues. When viewed in person, the mahogany surface presents with a beautiful light russet brown color throughout. The patina presents with some very light fading to the lowermost horizontal surface and to the seat consistent with gentle use. The wooden surfaces are in age-appropriate condition and present with light scratches and very small scattered indentations throughout which are not visually distracting and consistent with age. The edges of the piece with some slightly more pronounced abrasions and indentations consistent with use. The proper right corner of the base with a small chip to the wood measuring approximately 1/2 x 1/4 inch and not visually distracting. The wood with fine and stable hairlines concentrated to the front and back of the seat, the largest measuring approximately 2 1/2 in. long and consistent with age and use. The upper edge of the backrest presents with an area of sensitive repair to the wood measuring 1/4 x 1/8 in., not visually distracting. The bolts and screws with age-appropriate oxidation throughout. 


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.

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.