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Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Tapio Wirkkala (Finland, 1915–85)

Along with architect Alvar Aalto, the designer Tapio Wirkkala was Finland’s leading contributor to the Scandinavian interpretation of modernism in the mid-20th century. Prolific and innovative, Wirkkala excelled in a wide range of fields, including glass, furniture, porcelain, jewelry and tableware. The hallmark of his talent was an ability to impart a craft aesthetic based on natural forms — leaves, ice, bubbles, birds — to industrially produced designs.


A native of Helsinki, Wirkkala studied at the national School of Applied Arts and took up a career in graphic design. After serving in the Finnish army during World War II, he joined the glassmaking firm Iittala, an association that would continue to the end of his life. Wirkkala learned every aspect of glassmaking in keeping with his belief that an artist-designer should be involved in all stages of production. His best-known works for Iittala are vases and drinking vessels that resemble either carved ice or icicles. In 1956, Wirkkala began a long relationship with the porcelain maker Rosenthal, for whom he designed elegant table pieces, such as the Finlandia coffee service and the biomorphic Pollo vases. 


House Beautiful magazine declared Wirkkala’s Leaf platter the “most beautiful object” of 1951. (The acclaim led to his brief employment stint with industrial designer Raymond Loewy in New York.) That platter was one of the first designs Wirkkala made using laminated sheets of plywood sanded to a smooth surface that resembles an abstract leaf. It would go on to become a motif in many Wirkkala furniture pieces — most notably in inlaid coffee tables for Asko — and in a sense these are the works most emblematic of his personal aesthetic. Wirkkala was a traditionalist in many ways, but he had a modernist’s practical approach, incorporating his leaf-like spirals into simple, functional objects. That is the core attraction of Wirkkala’s designs: They stand out with a striking, sculptural energy yet blend in as part of a warm and comfortable decor.


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Creator:Tapio Wirkkala
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Tapio Wirkkala "Iceberg" Vase 3825
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
The iconic "Iceberg" vase by Tapio Wirkkala for Iittala, Finland. This vase is an incredibly heavy still-mould blown solid crystal piece. Created by the Finnish master to resemb...
Category

1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Crystal

Tapio Wirkkala Coffee Table
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Elm

Tapio Wirkkala Silver Punch Set
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1970s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Silver

Rare Tapio Wirkkala Coffee Table for Asko
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Metal

Exotic Wood Coffee Table by Tapio Wirkkala
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
A very exciting coffee table in rare woods by Tapio Wirkkala for Asko, circa 1958. This example has a taller base than most which is very well suited for the display of small obje...
Category

1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Metal

Unusual Floor Lamp by Tapio Wirkkala
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Metal

Tapio Wirkkala Copper and Silver Coffee Set
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1960s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Copper, Teak

Rare Tapio Wirkkala Brass Bowl
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Brass

Tapio Wirkkala Geometric Silver Vase
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1960s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Sterling Silver

SIlver Tapio Wirkkala bowl TW 282
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1960s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Tapio Wirkkala Bronze Bowl TW491
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1970s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Bronze

Tapio Wirkkala's TW 476 Bowl in Bronze
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1970s Finnish Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Bronze

Tapio Wirkkala's Snail bowl in silver
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1950s Finnish Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Silver

Tapio Wirkkala hanging lamps for IDMAN
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in Brooklyn/Toronto, Ontario
Category

1970s Finnish Vintage Tapio Wirkkala Furniture

Materials

Metal

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