Antiques industry spokesman George Evans, the entrepreneur behind Bond & Bowery, a great online resource for antiques and fine art, just brought us a pair of Alvar Aalto #41 Palmio Armchairs.
Examiner: George, these chairs have caught your eye. Where would you put them in your home?
George: It’s just great find a PAIR of vintage Alvar Aalto “#41 Palmio” Armchairs. First introduced in 1929, these are models from the 1950s. They’re iconic and groundbraking even today, I see these in a living room, a home office, or a bedroom sitting area – all with lounging in mind.
Examiner: If the chairs were the starting point of a personal collection, what other items would you add to it?
George: I would focus on other iconic pieces of the period. If money was no object, Frank Lloyd Wright pieces would compliment Mr. Aalto’s designs beautifully (you can also go with Wright’s authorized reproduction pieces at Copeland Furniture). At a commercial level, restrained pieces by designers like Knoll would be a good collection mix with these fluid chairs. Even the work of later masters like Milo Baughman would be a good fit and add to a personal collection.
Examiner: The maker of these chairs – what can you tell us about Aalto?
George: The chairs are vintage models. The chair seat and back are made of curved plywood. The arms and base are laminated curved beechwood. Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect and designer, and he’s sometimes referred to as the “Father of Modernism” in the Scandinavian region (but his work was influenced by other Finnish and Scandinavian design influences). His body of work was most impressive and ranged across the spectrum of architecture, furniture, textiles, and glassware. Aalto’s early career ran in parallel with the rapid economic growth and industrialization of Finland during the first half of the 20th century.
Examiner: George, it’s Fantasy Decorating time. If you had an unlimited budget, what else would you group with Aalto’s chairs, and where would you put it?
George: Fantasy decorating? These chairs need to go somewhere where they would have space and breathing room and I certainly see them almost outside. They have a slight nod to the “lawn look,” but they’re designed and executed so well, we all know they belong elsewhere. I see these chairs throwing the ultimate curve ball in the decoration of a spacious lanai in a dream house somewhere on a Pacific island. How’s that for a fantasy?
Examiner: Pretty good. We want an invitation to that island retreat of yours! To wrap, could you tell us about the dealer who’s offering the chairs?
George: The Bond and Bowery dealers offering these fantastic chairs is Center 44. They house 75 international antiques and modern dealers selling online and in 25,000 square feet of open showrooms on East 44th Street in Mid-town Manhattan. This is a shopping destination, and there’s an always-changing eclectic mixture of quality furnishings and items from formal to funk. They have it all.
For more information: Go to Bond and Bowery and further explore the details and purchase price of the Alvar Aalto #1 Palmio Armchairs.
We’ve got the perfect Scandinavian Accessory: Aalto’s brave new world of Finnish design fits in perfectly with our gloriously sleek White Marble Valas Bowl from DESU Design. The word “valas” is Finnish for “whale” and this elegant white marble bowl was designed to suggest the underbelly of a great whale. It would be perfect on a coffee table alongside the Alvar Aalto chairs. Click here for more information on the White Marble Valas Bowl.