Plywood stool/table 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
• 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
Price: 3,500 euro