Vintage Alvar Aalto Furniture
Vintage Alvar Aalto Furniture is original furniture produced by the Finnish designer Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto.
History & Description
Alvar Aalto was one of the pioneers of early Modernist furniture design. His work includes lamp shades, tables, desks and a variety of chairs and sofas.
Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto experimented with materials throughout his career. However, he is perhaps most famous for his technical innovations using birch and plywood, in particular his patents for bending wood which he applied in his furniture design and architecture.
Alvar Aalto’s career spanned over fifty years and his work reflected and dictated the styles that thrived from the 1920s to the 1970s, including Modernism, Nordic Classicism, Mid-Century Modern and, to some extent, Danish Modern.
Guide for collectors
Vintage Alva Aalto furniture represents some of the most expensive furniture that was designed during the Mid-Century Modern and Danish Modern periods.
As a general rule, vintage Alva Aalto desks and lamps tend to range between $500 and $1,500 when sold at auction. However, examples have sold for up to $15,000.
Undoubtedly, the most desirable and valuable pieces of Alva Aalto furniture to collectors are his chairs. Aalto’s Paimio armchair and his Model No. 31 are highly prized among collectors. Instances of Aalto chairs are relatively common at auction and prices tend to range between $1,000 and $3,000. However, the more distinguished examples have been known to sell in excess of $25,000
See main article: Alvar Aalto chairs
Collectors should try to attain as much information as possible from the seller in order to verify that the offered Alva Aalto furniture is a genuine vintage example and not a late-twentieth century replica or reproduction.
Notable auction sales
On December 9th 2005 at Sotheby’s in New York, an Alvar Aalto chair, Model No. 21, circa 1935, realised a price of $16,800.
On November 17th 2011 at Phillips de Pury & Co. in New York, a pair of rare Alvar Aalto Tank armchairs, circa 1936, realised a price of $28,000.
On October 29th 1997 at Christie’s in London, a rare Alvar Aalto Paimio armchair, circa 1932 to 1935, realised a price of £18,400.
On October 31st 2006 at Christie’s in London, an Alvar Aalto high-back armchair, circa 1933, realised a price of £15,600.
Other auction results can be found here: Auction results for Alvar Aalto
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