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Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn 'Model 2139' Coffee Table in Walnut Burl

Sale price$14,900.00

Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn, coffee table model 2139, walnut burl top, walnut legs, maple rim, Sweden, design 1948, manufactured ca. 1955

This classic coffee table is designed by Josef Frank in 1948. This specific coffee table is produced circa 1955, meaning that it is an early version. The table features a walnut burl top and classic walnut cabriole legs. The most striking feature is the richly patterned burl wood top. The three legs create a playful yet classic appearance.

Austrian designer, architect and theorist Josef Frank (1885-1967) is considered one of Europe’s leading modernists and progressive designers in the 1920s and 1930s. But Frank´s criticism on modern architecture and design during the early 1930s made him far less popular, and eventually led to his important contributions not been acknowledged in earlier studies. For Josef Frank, the centre of modernism was about history and the culture of everyday life instead of art and technology; a statement that in the 1930s was quite radical, as it fades away the boundaries between high and low culture. Born in a small Austrian spa town called ‘Baden’ in 1885, Josef Frank grew up in a middle-class Jewish family. On the age of eighteen, Frank enrolled in the architecture faculty at the Technische Hochschule or Polytechnic Insitute in Vienna. He specialized in interior design and single-family houses. His clientele largely came from upper-middle-class families. Instead of dedicating to the Jugendstil principles, which was popular during the ‘Fin de Siècle’ era in Austria, Frank substituted an eclectic style inspired on a variety of practices.

In 1933, Josef Frank and his Swedish wife Anna emigrated to Sweden, as they sensed a volatile political situation in Central Europe and the growing fascist movement, years before the Nazi regime emerged in Germany. The Austrian ‘Werkbund’, that was founded in 1912 to encourage collaboration between the arts, crafts and industry, formally split and a ‘New Werkbund’ was organized in 1933. As one of the initiators of the Werkbund, Frank could not ignore the notable anti-Semitic tendency within the organisation and beyond and decided to leave the country. Swedish designer Estrid Ericson (1894-1981) offered him a position as chief designer at her company Svenskt Tenn. Initially, Josef Frank was hired to expand the range of furnishing offered by the company but eventually led to a partnership for over three decades. He abandoned his work as an architect and started to focus on interior and furniture design. Frank introduced a new design vocabulary; colorful, vibrant and he selected a remarkable variety of materials in his furniture designs. Characteristic for his work is his ‘accidental approach’ or ‘accidentism’ as how he ironically called it; it all derives spontaneously and should make the impression as if they originated by chance. He stood against the modernistic believes of the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk' that provides a standard design solution and its pure functionality, and believed that ornament and complexity create peacefulness and therefore freedom.

Kindly note that this piece is in good, used condition and shows some signs of wear and use.

VAT within the EU: When buying or delivering an item within the EU, VAT usually applies and will be added.

Product Details

  • condition Good
  • creator Josef Frank (Designer) Svenskt Tenn (Manufacturer)
  • date of manufacture 1955
  • dimensions Height 19.3 in. Diameter 47.25 in.
  • dimensions Height 49 cm Diameter 120 cm
  • material Burl Maple Walnut
  • origin Denmark
  • period 1940-1949
  • style Scandinavian Modern (Of the Period)
  • barcode 50111518