Plywood table/stool with its accompanying circular tray. Manufactured by Luterma in Estonia circa 1930s. Both stool and tray are stamped/labelled Venesta.
The British furniture entrepreneur Jack Pritchard managed Venesta the import company for Luterma in England who later formed the Isokon furniture company which most notably employed Marcel Breuer. These tables/stools were distributed in England post 1933 until 1939 exclusively by Isokon alongside designs by Marcel Breuer and Egon Riss.
Although the designer of the stool remains anonymous, in 2004 the art historian Alastair Grieve described a modification of the original Luterma stool (of which this stool is one) when he wrote that the original design was subsequently re-designed by the architect and founder of the Bauhaus Walter Gropius (hired as a consultant to Isokon). The very slight alterations Gropius made was to include sharper curves to the cut-out squares of the stool. Gropius’s drawings for the redesign can reportedly be found in the collection of the V&A Museum, London.
The separate tray placed on top of the stool is unusual and rare in that it is much thinner than all other trays we have seen. This has led to some minor warping over time (which may have been why it was produced later with a thicker rim?) The thinner rimmed tray may suggest that this was an early production or at the least a more limited production?
h.46.5cm x w.44cm x d.44cm
Literature:- • Kermik, Juri (2004) The Luther factory: Plywood and furniture 1877-1940 • Daybelge & Englund, (2019); Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain • Pritchard, Jack (1984); View from a Long Chair: The Memoirs of Jack Pritchard
Nickel plated steel and plywood chair for EMS Overschie 1930s.
A rare classic modernist chair by this Dutch designer. The seat and back have been refinished to a surface as close as possible to the original. The frame has a warm patina resulting from years of use.
Between 1925 and 1955 influenced by the Dutch Modernist De Stijl painters and designers Ko Verzuu designed many children’s toys. His designs were inextricably bound up with innovations in art, health care and pedagogy in the first half of the 20th century. In 1920, the sanatorium Berg en Bosch was founded in the sanctuary on the outskirts of Apeldoorn. This sanatorium offered rest and care to tuberculosis patients.
Once patients had recovered from their illness, returning to regular working life often proved to be difficult. In order to prepare patients better for their reintegration, the sanatorium developed a modern treatment: occupational therapy.
One of the ways this took shape was in the production of wooden toys. These toys were given the name ADO; an abbreviation that initially stood for Arbeid door Onvolwaardigen (Labour by the Deficient), but was wisely changed to Apart Doelmatig Onverwoestbaar (Special Functional Indestructible) in 1962.
Occasionally ADO made actual ‘real sized’ furniture – This is a very rare small table made by ADO during the 1930s. All original and in great condition…although the top shows signs of age as would be expected.