Alvar Aalto Stool 60 - the puzzle continues...
I was able to pick up these 3 stools last week, and they have presented somewhat of a puzzle for me. After doing some digging, it appears that this puzzle is not a new one:
... so I thought I would bring it back up to the surface to see if anyone has been able to unearth any new information. The stools are in great shape, except 2 are showing delam of the birch veneer on the bottom. Not a big deal, as it would be reletively easy for me to fix, and at the price I paid for them, they could be Ikea and I will still have made out ahead on the deal.
Here are the details .... First, the similarities:
- the design of the bent legs is that of Aalto. It can be seen that the bend in the legs was accomplished by cutting kerfs in the wood.
- dimensions are pretty close: overall height - 17 9/16"(44.6 cm), width of legs - 3/4"(1.91 cm), Diameter of seat - 13 7/8"(35.24 cm), width of seat - 1" (2.54 cm)
- finish has patina characteristics of a 60-70 year old piece. finish appears to be Lacquer, as lacquer thinner removed finish, while DNA did not.
- legs have same width top to bottom.
Now the differences:
- beveled edge on the stool top.
- stool top is butt-joined solid pieces of birch/maple, not hollow.
- Legs afixed with 4 flathead steel screws, not the usual 3
- there are cylindrical felt tabs at the leg attachment points, obviously to prevent scratching when stools are stacked.
- Marked "sweden" in red ink stamp, on 1 of the 3 stools
One more bit of info that I can throw in, is that I live in Wisconsin. The lady I bought them from was in her late 60's and she said that her parents had them in the house when she was growing up, but she was not sure where they got them from. Just that they were there as long as she could remember. She also lived in Wisconsin her whole life. So the Pascoe - Artek relationship is in play, but the Sweden marking points elsewhere.
So the question is, are these from the Artek Hedemora, Sweeden factory, Pascoe, MIT library stools, early knock-offs, .... what?
At the end of the day, I have always loved the design. I only paid a few dollars for all 3 of them, so I am not too concerned at how this turns out. I will most likely fix them and keep them for myself anyways ... they are just so functional I will have no issues finding a place for them.
Thanks in advance for any assistance!
Based upon what can you say so definitively? Do you mean "design" in a more universal sense, not a branded one?
The shape and proportion of legs to top look extremely similar to Aalto stools, but as shown in the pics the construction seems to have something of an uncharacteristic roughness to it. They don't exactly look like total crap but they certainly look different (and inferior) to the icon of what we know as the "Aalto Stool"
I'd say they're vintage stools, made in Sweden, in the style of Alvar Aalto unless there's some evidence that says something else about it
Two different Aalto stools made in Sweden:
The tops have different style edges. Different veneer types as well.
Found an example with two holes. These stools are also stamped "Scandicrafts" which was a US importer of Aalto designs.
Thanks woody, I also saw a couple of these posts during my research.
These links look exactly how the bottoms of mine look, with the 4 Screws, 2 holes, and the felt bumpers. Only difference is how the "sweden" is marked. Also, the first post of yours above looks to have the exact same taper on the edge as the ones that I have. The foot stools also look to have the tapered edge, but that is just a guess since they are covered.
I will look into the "Scandicrafts" connection a bit more, maybe there is a connection to Artek's Swedish mfg.
Objectworship, I don't think what you said is incorrect at this point, but the fact that the legs are the exact same construction technique as confirmed Aalto stools, and the fact that this technique was patented and not that common, leads me to beleive there is likely something more to these than just Swedish knock-offs.