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Scandinavian Design Shines at Wright

The Chicago-based auction house is offering furnishings by notables such as Alvar Aalto and Finn Juhl in its April 26 sale.

Scandinavian design aficionados will soon have a wealth of works to choose from; at next week’s April 26 auction at Wright, a total of 174 lots will hit the block. These include furniture pieces by such luminaries of Scandinavian design as Kaare Klint, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, Jørgen Kastholm, Arne Vodder, Alvar Aalto, Kresten Bloch, and Hans J. Wenger—as well as ceramics by Axel Salto, Aage and Kasper Würtz, and Gunnar Nylund.

“We have quite a number of finely crafted pieces at all price levels,” says Richard Wright, president of the Chicago-based auction house, adding that, “The warmth and beauty of these mid 20th-century works make them easy to live with.”

Among the standouts is Kaare Klint’s 1935 sofa in leather and mahogany (est. $15,000 to $20,000) and an armchair by Finn Juhl in African padauk wood. The chair, which retains its original brass shoes, also carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.

Notable ceramics in the sale include a glazed stoneware and bronze lidded vessel by Kresten Bloch, made circa 1935 for Royal Copenhagen. The 17-inch-high container is tagged at $7,000 to $9,000. Two similar lidded vessels by Carl Halier, also designed for Royal Copenhagen that same year, each carry estimates of $5,000 to $7,000.

Pieces by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto include a 1937 tea trolley designed for Artek in birch, tile, rattan, and lacquered wood (est. $1,000–$1,500), and two “X” leg benches in birch and leather designed for the same company in 1954. Each of the latter is priced at $500 to $700.

Some 15 moderately priced works by Hans J. Wegner are also on offer, among them a sheepskin draped Flag Halyard lounge chair (ca. 1950), which is pegged at $7,000 to $9,000 and a Shell settee (ca.  1948), in molded teak plywood, estimated at $5,000 to $7,000. The market for pieces by Wegner has been on the rise in recent years with 10 lots having crossed the $100,000 mark at auction.

“With its clean lines, functionality, and timeless design, Scandinavian furniture is a perennial market favorite,” says Wright.

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