On 25th April, Artcurial
presents its fifth sale exclusively dedicated to Scandinavian Design. It will include a rigorous selection of 95 lots signed by the greatest names in the speciality. The forerunners of the Danish school, probably the better-known names, will follow suite throughout the sale, with, for example, a wool sofa by Finn Juhl or furniture by dHans J. Wegner, Frits Henningsen and Poul Kjerholm.
But the talent of Finnish light designer, Paavo Tynell will be particularly highlighted with the presentation of more than 20 pieces, the majority of which had been kept by the artists family. His brass and perforated metal suspensions presented during the November event dominated the auction, such as the Snowflake model which reached 77,400 / $82,044, more than double its estimate. Collectors and enthusiasts from around the world celebrate his work using light as a medium through simultaneously poetic, mysterious and artisanal creations.
Other masters of Finnish design will complement the selection, such as Alvar Aalto, with two small dark objects illuminated by brass: an umbrella stand (estimate: 800 1,200 / $880 1,320) and an ashtray (estimate: 600 - 800 / $660 - 880); or one of the founding artists of the Finnish school of design in glass, Gunnel Nyman, with a serpentine glass vase circa1947 (estimate: 3,000 - 5 000 /$3,300 5,500).
Paavo Tynell, the craftsman of light
The first 21 lots of the auction are all signed by the same artists, the Finnish Paavo Tynell. A light specialist, he leans towards copper, better value than silver or tin in the post-war years, and sculpts as would a silversmith, creating poetic luminaires, sometimes tinged with naturalist elements. To be noted, this ninth child out of 11siblings was originally destined to become a blacksmith. But after evening courses in an art school and a first experience with a jewellery manufacturer, he creates Taito Oy (Expertise, S.A. in Finnish) with three associates.
Hailed as « The man who illuminated Finland », Paavo Tynnel was the first industrial luminary producer in Europe, in the 1950s. Sconces, desk lamps, standard lamps, chandeliers: he imagines creations combining tradition and contemporaneousness, working with the most celebrated Finnish architects of the time such as Alvar Aalto or Eero Saarinen.
Artcurial offers for auction an important suspension mod. 140-8 in brass, created in the 1940s (lot 5), estimate 50,000 70,000 / $55,000 77,000, alongside a rare suspension aka « Snowball », circa 1950, also in brass, composed of frosted glass orbs (lot 6) (estimate: 40,000 60,000 / $44,000 66,000).
Some pieces included in this collection were kept by the artists family in Helsinki, up till now. Pair of brass suspensions (lot 7) and rare table lamp circa 1950 (lot 9) each carry an estimate of 15,000 20,000/ $16,500 22,000
The essential figures of the Danish school
The Danish masters, another essential school of Scandinavian design, comprise the second part of the auction:
The inimitable Finn Juhl, with, for example, important sofa, aka « Tivoli » from 1957 (estimate: 25,000 35,000/ $27,500 38,500);
architect and cabinet maker Frits Henningsen, with a rare set of armchairs and their footrests aka « Wingback armchair » in black oak and leather, estimate 80,000 120,000 / $ 88,000 132,000;
Hans J. Wegner, with an armchair aka « Flagline » (lot 53) with a rope seating (estimate: 10,000 15,000 / $1,1000 16,500) ;
Seating specialist Poul Kjaerholm, with several chairs and tables, and a Day bed, created in 1957, created in steel, wood and cognac leather (estimate: 25,000 35,000 / $27,500 38,500).
Sweden is also represented with the works of Hans Agne Jakobsson, Josef Frank and Oscar Nilsson.