Alvar Aalto (Finland, 1898-1976)

An architect and designer, Alvar Aalto deserves an immense share of the credit for bringing Scandinavian modernism to a prominent place in the global arena. In both his buildings and in his furnishings — which range from chairs, tables and lighting to table- and glassware — Aalto’s sensitivity to the natural world and to organic forms and materials tempered the hardness of rationalist design.

     Relatively few Aalto buildings exist outside Finland. (Just four exist in the United States, and only one — the sinuous 1945 Baker House dormitory at M.I.T. — is easily visited.) International attention came to Aalto, whose surname translates to English as “wave,” primarily through his furniture.

     Instead of the tubular metal framing favored by the Bauhaus designers and Le Corbusier, Aalto insisted on wood. His aesthetic is best represented by the “Paimio chair,” developed in 1930 as part of his overall design of a Finnish tuberculosis sanatorium. Comfortable, yet light enough to be easily moved by patients, the chair’s frame is composed of two laminated birch loops; the seat and back are formed from a single sheet of plywood that scrolls under at the headrest and beneath the knees, creating a sort of pillow effect. Aalto’s use of plywood had enormous influence on Charles Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Marcel Breuer and others who later came to the material.

     Concerned with keeping up standards of quality in the production of his designs, Aalto formed the still-extant company Artek in 1935, along with his wife, Aino Aalto, whose glass designs were made by the firm. In the latter medium, in 1936 the Aaltos together created the iconic, undulating “Savoy vase,” so-called for the luxe Helsinki restaurant for which the piece was designed. Artek also produced Aalto lighting designs, many of which — such as the “Angel’s Wing” floor lamp and the “Beehive” pendant — incorporate a signature Aalto detail: shades made of concentric enameled-metal rings graduated down in diameter. The effect of the technique is essential Alvar Aalto: at once precise, simple, and somehow poetic.

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Early Alvar Aalto Armchair, Model 406, Artek, Finl...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs
Cotton, Birch
Early Alvar Aalto cantilever armchair, model 406. The laminated birch plywood frame originally came with a woven cane webbing, replaced with an naturalistic alternating-color cotton web...
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp for Valaistustyö, Finland, 1956
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp for Valaistustyö, Finland, ...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Mid-20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps
Metal, Brass
Iconic floor lamp by famous Finish designer Alvar Aalto, manufactured by Valaistustyö in Finland, in 1956. This unique design was originally made for Helsinki's Social Insurance Inst...
Alvar Aalto Cased White Glass Centerpiece Bowl
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Finnish Modern Bowls and Baskets
Glass
A rare Alvar Aalto organic model #9767 glass dish. Aalto designed the decorative centerpiece for the Karhula Glassworks in Finland. The bowl is stamped Alvar Aalto to the underside. The...
Alvar Aalto Magazine Shelf for Artek, Blond Wood, ...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Shelves
Birch
PHILOLUX is a highly–curated specialist of rare designs sourced from France to Japan. Our clients are interior designers, firms and trend-setters in tech, media and the arts from Miami ...
Alvar Aalto Birch Dining or Writing Table with Blue Top and Cabinet
Alvar Aalto Birch Dining or Writing Table with Blu...
Alvar Aalto, Artek, Design Research
Vintage 1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Desks and Writing Tables
Birch
1950s Alvar Aalto for Artek table composed of a large rectangular top joined to bentwood, laminated-birch legs. Fantastic, original blue linoleum top (looks and feels more like leather)...
Alvar Aalto 'Fan Leg' Stool for Artek 1954, Model ...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Stools
Leather, Birch
Simple and exquisite, the 'fan leg' stool is constructed from birch and leather. Each of the triple legs are first bent and formed, then cut into five individual slices that are fanned-...
Two Pair of Alvar Aalto Vintage Fan Leg Nesting St...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern End Tables
Set of four tables which can be stacked.
Alvar Alto's Renown Scandinavian Modern Pine Scree...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Home Accents
Pine
This folding screen was manufactured for Artek in Helsinki, model no. 100, and designed by Alvar Alto. Made of massive pine slats, held together by four iron cables. The groove of the f...
Early Tank Chair by Alvar Aalto for Artek
Early Tank Chair by Alvar Aalto for Artek
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs
Bent birch plywood frame, spring seat and back, upholstered in wool fabric. Post-war model, 1960s. Made by Artek.
Rare Alvar Aalto Yellow Linoleum Table
Rare Alvar Aalto Yellow Linoleum Table
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1950s Finnish Desks and Writing Tables
Pine
Alvar Aalto table in rare color yellow linoleum. Designed in 1933.
Early Edition Alvar Aalto Side Table, 1930s
By Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Early Edition Alvar Aalto Side Table, 1930s
Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Side Tables
Birch, Plywood
Early edition birch laminated side table by Alvar Aalto with L-legs, original condition. Finland, circa 1930s. Manufactured by Oy Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab (Turku, Finland...
Paavo Tynell Alvar Aalto, Rare Golden Bell Pendant Light, 1940s
Paavo Tynell Alvar Aalto, Rare Golden Bell Pendant...
Alvar Aalto, Paavo Tynell, Taito Oy
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Brass
Very rare perforated brass pendant light by Paavo Tynell and Alvar Aalto. Model shape is based on Aalto's iconic golden bell pendant, designed in 1937 Manufactured mid-1940s by Paavo...
Alvar Aalto, 402 Series Armchair
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Armchairs
Natural Fiber, Bentwood
Armchair designed by Alvar Aalto manufactured, circa 1960. Curved birch plywood and braided vegetable fiber. Measures: 74 x 61 x 69 cm In good original condition with minor wear...
Early Alvar Aalto, Floor Lamp, Model A808, by Vala...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Metal, Brass, Leather
Alvar Aalto floor lamp, Model A808, an early version, Finland, 1950s. Manufactured by Valaistustyö Ky, Finland. Model originally designed the National Pensions Institute. Br...
Early Alvar Aalto Ceiling Lamp, A605, Original Val...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Metal, Aluminum
Alvar Aalto ceiling lamp, early example by original manufacture Valaistustyö. Model no. A605. Finland, circa 1953. Manufacture Valaistustyö Ky. Impressed with manufacture's mark...
Model 44 Lounge Chair by Alvar Aalto, circa 1930
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Lounge Chairs
Bentwood
Model 44 lounge chair by Alvar Aalto, made in Finland, circa 1930. Low profile sculptural armchair with bentwood frame in original tweed upholstery.
Alvar Aalto, Early and Rare Cantilevered Chaise in...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Organic Modern Chaise Longues
Fabric, Birch
A rare overstuffed variation of Alvar Aaltos famous chaise longue designed in 1936. Reupholstered in off-white fabric. Base in laminated birch. Manufactured by O.Y. Huonekalu- ja Rakenn...
Alvar Aalto Glass Savoy Vase
Alvar Aalto Glass Savoy Vase
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vases and Vessels
Cut Glass
1950s, Mid-Century Modern, blown glass 'Savoy' vase designed by Alvar Aalto with acid etched mark on bottom.
Alvar Aalto, Early Golden Bell Ceiling Lamp, Model A330, 1954
Alvar Aalto, Early Golden Bell Ceiling Lamp, Model...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Brass
ALVAR AALTO early Golden Bell ceiling lamp, model A330 Valaistustyö Ky for Artek Oy, Finland, early 1950s. Brass. Height 23 cm, diameter 18 cm. Variable drop. Alvar Aalto´s...
Alvar Aalto Bench Model 153A by Artek, Birch Plywood, Finland, 1970s
Alvar Aalto Bench Model 153A by Artek, Birch Plywo...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Mid-20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Benches
Wood, Birch, Bentwood, Plywood
A beautiful and timeless bench, model 153A, designed in 1945 by Alvar Aalto, executed in the 1970s by Artek Finland. Made of birchwood, in very good condition. Can be used also a side t...
Four Alvar Aalto 900 series Dining Chairs
Alvar Aalto
20th Century Finnish Dining Room Chairs
Natural Fiber, Wood
Captivating chairs, set of four, that enable both casual and classic state of beauty. Light wood base encased with study beige burlap woven seat. Fitting for both a side chair or dining...
Alvar Aalto Fan-Legged Side Table
By Alvar Aalto, Artek, ICF Group
Alvar Aalto Fan-Legged Side Table
Alvar Aalto, Artek, ICF Group
Vintage 1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Ash, Birch
A fan-legged side table or stool by Finnish design icon Alvar Aalto. Fluted birch legs meet the square ash top in a very elegant waterfall-like manner. Originally designed in 1954 an...
Early Alvar Aalto Pendant Light, Model A110, 1950s
Early Alvar Aalto Pendant Light, Model A110, 1950s...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Metal, Aluminum, Brass
Pendant light by architect Alvar Aalto, Model A110. Rare version of the model with a solid brass shade. Finland, circa 1950s. Early production, manufactured by Valaistustyö Ky. ...
Rare Birch Small Club Table by Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Side Tables
Birch
Lovely rare Carelian birch veneered three legged small club-table. Designed in 1933.
Alvar Aalto Early Cantilevered Armchair, Finland, 1933
By Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Alvar Aalto Early Cantilevered Armchair, Finland, ...
Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs
Linen, Birch, Plywood
Cantilevered high-backed armchair by Alvar Aalto. Early production example from 1930s by Oy Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab, Turku, Finland. Originally designed in 1933 for Artek O...
Alvar Aalto Dining Table, circa 1960
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1960s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Wood
Dining table designed by Alvar Aalto, circa 1960 Special commission, unique piece of measure: 246 x 140 x73 cm Wood legs and structure. In great original condition, with minor we...
Alvar Aalto A335 Pendant, Valaistusty, 1952
By Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
On Hold
Alvar Aalto A335 Pendant, Valaistusty, 1952
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Brass, Metal
Wonderful pendant light, model A335 by Alvar Aalto, in brass and white enameled metal, with original metal canopy and white bottom rim, early example by original manufacture Valaistusty...
1940s Alvar Aaalto Low Round Coffee Table
1940s Alvar Aaalto Low Round Coffee Table
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1940s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Birch
Early Alvar Aaalto coffee table in birch. Excellent unrestored condition, with a beautiful grain. The original owner had a glass top made for the table and kept it protected throughout ...
Early Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp, Model a 810, Valaistustyö Ky, 1959
Early Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp, Model a 810, Valaist...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Metal, Brass, Leather, Iron
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp, Model A 810, "Double Angel Wing" Valaistustyö Ky for Artek Oy, Finland, circa 1950s. Brass, leather, painted metal, leather covered iron base. Height 165 c...
Alvar Aalto Early Edition Cantilevered Armchair in Original Zebra Hide, 1930s
Alvar Aalto Early Edition Cantilevered Armchair in...
Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs
Zebra Hide, Birch, Plywood
Early edition cantilevered armchair by Alvar Aalto (Finland, 1898-1976), Model no. 34/402 Designed in 1933. Manufactured by Oy Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab (Turku, Finland) ...
Rare Dining Table by Alvar Aalto in Karelian Birch...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Tables
Birch
Dining table by Alvar Aalto for Aartek, Finland 1950s. This beautiful table consists of a big round tabletop, veneered with Karelian birch, supported by Aalto's characteristic legs of ...
Early Wing Chair Model 401 by Alvar Aalto
Early Wing Chair Model 401 by Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1940s Finnish Modern Lounge Chairs
Pre-war, high back cantilevered wing chair, with spring seating and bent birch plywood frame. Frame original, new linen upholstery. Made by Artek, circa 1940s.
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp
By Alvar Aalto, Valaisinpaja Oy
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp
Alvar Aalto, Valaisinpaja Oy
Vintage 1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps
Brass, Leather, Metal
White enameled metal, vented roughly conical shade on a black leather sleeved brass shaft designed by famous Finish Alvar Aalto. This lamp was originally designed for Helsinki's Social ...
Alvar Aalto A810 Floor Lamp, Valaisinpaja Oy, Finland
Alvar Aalto A810 Floor Lamp, Valaisinpaja Oy, Finl...
Alvar Aalto, Valaisinpaja Oy
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps
Alvar Aalto A810 floor lamp, produced by Valaisinpaja Oy, Finland with makers mark. White painted metal double shades. Brass stem and leather bound stem and base. Very good vintage cond...
Alvar Aalto Dining or Game Table and Chairs
Alvar Aalto Dining or Game Table and Chairs
Alvar Aalto, Artek
20th Century Finnish Dining Room Sets
Upholstery, Birch
Alvar Aalto "Fan Leg" birchwood dining or game table and chairs manufactured by Artek of Finland.
Alvar Aalto for Artek Birch Dining or Writing Tabl...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Vintage 1940s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Desks and Writing Tables
Plywood, Birch
This rectangular table was designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek in the late 1940s. This example features the signature Aalto bent birch L-shaped legs, and can be used as a desk, dining or ...
Alvar Aalto for Artek Finland Stacking Stools Mode...
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Stools
Set of three Alvar Aalto for Artek of Finland stacking stools model 60. Original two-tone dark stained legs with birch banded top and tan formica top. One is stamped Alvar Aalto Artek...
Rare Alvar Aalto Medal by Finnish Artist Eila Hiltunen, 1974
Rare Alvar Aalto Medal by Finnish Artist Eila Hilt...
Alvar Aalto, Eila Hiltunen
Vintage 1970s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Collectibles and Curiosities
Bronze
Rare Alvar Aalto medal by Finnish artist Eila Hiltunen, made to celebrate the inauguration of Aalto's iconic Finlandia Hall (Helsinki, Finland) in 1974 (completed between 1971-1975). ...
1930s Alvar Aalto Two-Tier Frame Table, Model Nos....
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Mid-Century Modern End Tables
Birch
Rare 1930s Alvar Aalto two-tier frame table, model nos. 75/83 and 915, designed for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio. Manufactured by O.Y. Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas A.b., Tu...
Alvar Aalto Table and Stools
Alvar Aalto Table and Stools
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Dining Room Sets
An early dining set by Alvar Aalto with a table and six stools.
Pair of Alvar Aalto Bentwood 406 ICF Lounge Chairs
Pair of Alvar Aalto Bentwood 406 ICF Lounge Chairs...
Alvar Aalto
20th Century Finnish Modern Lounge Chairs
Pair of Alvar Aalto bentwood lounge chairs.
Alvar Aalto Savoy Vase for Iittala Finland
Alvar Aalto Savoy Vase for Iittala Finland
Alvar Aalto, Iittala
20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vases and Vessels
Art Glass
Iconic Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Iittala. Made in Finland, circa late 20th century but originally designed in 1936. This vase is in wonderful condition with label, signature and ori...
Alvar Aalto Dining Table and Six Armchairs Produced by Artek
Alvar Aalto Dining Table and Six Armchairs Produce...
Alvar Aalto
20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Ash, Birch
Alvar Aalto extension table (H94) with two extension leaves that can be stored discreetly underneath the table. The six dining armchairs are upholstered in blue leather and rattan armre...
Alvar Aalto Bent Wood Wool Upholstery Chaise Loung...
Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson
20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Chaise Longues
Wool, Bentwood
Mid-Century Modern Alvar Aalto design for Artek bentwood chaise longue in orange wool upholstery.
Dining Sets Model 91/66 by Alvar Aalto for Artek F...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs
Birch
An Alvar Aalto dining set comprising of one large table model 91 and four model 66 chairs. Birch plywood with black linoleum seat and tabletop. Alvar Aalto introduced the bent L-leg fo...
Alvar Aalto Pair of Side Tables, circa 1940s
By Alvar Aalto, Artek, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Alvar Aalto Pair of Side Tables, circa 1940s
Alvar Aalto, Artek, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Side Tables
Birch, Plywood
Early pair of side tables with drawers by Alvar Aalto, original condition. Finland, circa 1940s. Manufactured by Oy Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab (Turku, Finland) for Artek Oy...
Set of Six Contemporary Modern Alvar Aalto Stools
Set of Six Contemporary Modern Alvar Aalto Stools
Alvar Aalto
20th Century Mid-Century Modern Stools
Wood
This gorgeous set of six Mid-Century Modern style stools feature an ebony finish and angled legs. Sleek design with a circular kick rests and a molded wood frame adds to the allure. Thi...
Armchair Designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek, Finlan...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s European Scandinavian Modern Armchairs
Birch
Armchair designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek, Finland, 1930s. Laminated birch, original skai upholstery. Measures: H: 70 cm/ 27 1/2'' W: 61 cm/ 24'' D: 73 cm/ 28 3/4''.
Tea Trolley by Tapio Wirkkala and Aulis Leinonen, ...
Alvar Aalto, Asko
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Carts and Bar Carts
Metal, Rubber, Birch, Elm, Teak
Tea trolley with detachable trays by Tapio Wirkkala and Aulis Leinonen, original condition.  Marked with Asko label underside. Asko Oy, Finland, circa 1950-1951. Measures: 90 x 6...
Early Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp, Model A805 for Valai...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Brass, Leather
Alvar Aalto Floor lamp A805. Valaistustyö Ky. Finland, 1954 White painted metal, brass, tubular brass and black leather-wrapped metal. Stem impressed with Valaistustyö A 805. Measur...
Set of Two Distressed Alvar Aalto 68 Chairs
Set of Two Distressed Alvar Aalto 68 Chairs
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Birch, Bentwood
An undisputed classic, the 68 chair by Alvar Aalto was designed in 1935 with functionality, simplicity, and longevity in mind. These two distressed beauties are a testament to good desi...
Pair of Alvar Aalto Cantilevered Armchairs for Artek
Pair of Alvar Aalto Cantilevered Armchairs for Art...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs
Pair of upholstered armchairs designed by Aalto in 1933. Distributed by ICF In the 1980s. 100% wool fabric by Kvadrat.
Alvar Aalto, Pinewood Screen, Model 100, circa 1940s
Alvar Aalto, Pinewood Screen, Model 100, circa 194...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Home Accents
Pine
Alvar Aalto. Screen, model nr. 100. Artek. Finland, 1935-1936. Pinewood, metal wire. Height circa 150 cm, width circa 200 cm. Screen or room divider, model nr. 100. Original...
Pair of Lounge Chairs Model 401 by Alvar Aalto, 19...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs
Leather, Plywood
First edition 1935 of Scandinavian lounge chair, this model 401 designed by Alvar Aalto Stamped with "Aalto design made in Finland" Original Frame in plywood and beige leather.
Alvar Aalto Hallway Chair Model No.403 by Finmar
Alvar Aalto Hallway Chair Model No.403 by Finmar
Alvar Aalto, Finmar
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chairs
Birch, Plywood
An early and exceptionally rare Alvar Aalto Hallway chair, which was originally designed for the Paimio Sanitorium. The chair bears to the verso an original Finmar label.
Alva Alato Desk Writing Table Red Lacquer Table To...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Modern Desks and Writing Tables
Birch, Bentwood
Very early desk, writing table by Alva Aalto, circa 1930, red lacquer tabletop, birch, bentwood, table size 182 cm x 90 cm x 72 cm.
Pair of Alvar Aalto Bentwood Lounge Chairs by ICF for Artek
Pair of Alvar Aalto Bentwood Lounge Chairs by ICF ...
Alvar Aalto
20th Century Finnish Modern Lounge Chairs
Fabric, Beech
Pair of bentwood beech lounge chairs by Alvar Aalto for ICF/ Artek of Finland. Beautiful, cantilevered design with fabric webbing provide excellent comfort, support and usability. ...
Alvar Aalto, Pair of Side Chairs, Model 66, 1933
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Modern Dining Room Chairs
Alvar Aalto Artek (manufacturer), Finland Chair Model 66, 1933 (pair) Birch and birch laminated plywood, Original Finmar plastic label and Bowman Bros stamps to undersides. Imp...