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Alvar Aalto Serveware, Ceramics, Silver and Glass

Finnish, 1898-1976

An architect and designer, Alvar Aalto deserves an immense share of the credit for bringing Scandinavian modernism and Nordic design to a prominent place in the global arena. In both his buildings and his vintage furniture — which ranges from chairs, stools, 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 furnishings.

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 armchair, developed with his wife, Aino Aalto, in 1930 as part of the overall design of a Finnish tuberculosis sanatorium.

Comfortable, yet light enough to be easily moved by patients, the Paimio 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 the headrest and beneath the knees, creating a sort of pillow effect. Aalto’s use of plywood had an enormous influence on Charles and Ray 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 Aino, 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 pendants and other 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.

Find a collection of vintage Alvar Aalto stools, vases, dining tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Alvar Aalto
Modern Finnish glass bowl centerpiece, Alvar Aalto for IIttala, 1990s
By Iittala, Alvar Aalto
Located in MIlano, IT
Centerpiece bowl or low vase of Finnish provenance, made entirely of glass and with an irregular, wavy shape. Design by Alvar Aalto for Ittala, c. 1990 with production label and desi...
Category

1990s Finnish Modern Alvar Aalto Serveware, Ceramics, Silver and Glass

Materials

Glass

Alvar Aalto Savoy Vase Scandinavian Modern for Iittala
By Iittala, Alvar Aalto
Located in New York, NY
The beautiful and iconic Scandinavian Modern Alvar Aalto glass vase, aka as the 'Savoy' vase, created by designer Alvar Aalto, 1937, Finland. This clear vase, with original design by...
Category

Late 20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Alvar Aalto Serveware, Ceramics, Silver and Glass

Materials

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Serving Set of Tray Ice Bucket and Glasses by Alvar Aalto for Artek, Italy 1960s
By Artek, Alvar Aalto
Located in Rome, IT
Tray set composed of a tray, four glasses, of which one slightly smaller than the other three, and an ice bucket in wood and glass by Alvar Aalto for Artek. Made in Italy in the 1960...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto Serveware, Ceramics, Silver and Glass

Materials

Glass, Wood

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Alvar Aalto serveware, ceramics, silver and glass for sale on 1stDibs.

Alvar Aalto serveware, ceramics, silver and glass are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of glass and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Alvar Aalto serveware, ceramics, silver and glass, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original serveware, ceramics, silver and glass by Alvar Aalto were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider serveware, ceramics, silver and glass by Gunnel Nyman, Ulla Procope, and Friedl Holzer-Kjellberg. Prices for Alvar Aalto serveware, ceramics, silver and glass can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $375 and can go as high as $1,186, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $750.
Questions About Alvar Aalto Serveware, Ceramics, Silver and Glass
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 1, 2024
    Alvar Aalto is known for bringing Scandinavian modernism and Nordic design to global prominence. In his designs for buildings and furniture, Aalto's sensitivity to the natural world and to organic forms and materials tempered the hardness of rationalist design. One of his most famous pieces is the Paimio armchair, which he designed in 1930 for a Finnish tuberculosis sanatorium. Comfortable yet light enough to be easily moved by patients, the Paimio chair's frame is made of two laminated birch loops. The seat and back are formed from a single sheet of plywood that scrolls under the headrest and beneath the knees, creating a pillow effect. Aalto's use of plywood had an enormous influence on Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Marcel Breuer and many others. On 1stDibs, shop an assortment of Alvar Aalto furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2024
    The style most commonly associated with Alvar Aalto is Scandinavian modern. As an architect and designer, Aalto deserves an immense share of the credit for bringing Scandinavian modernism and Nordic design to a prominent place in the global arena. In both his buildings and his vintage furniture, Aalto's sensitivity to the natural world and organic forms and materials tempered the hardness of rationalist design, as is indicative of Scandinavian modern pieces. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Alvar Aalto furniture.

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