1 of 8 images

Alvar Aalto Cantilever Chair, Model 31


Alvar Aalto cantilever chair, model 31. A very rare 1st edition model 31 lounge chair by Alvar Aalto in birch plywood with a floating back silhouette. Museum quality. Finland, circa 1930s.  


  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 25.5 in. x W 24 in. x D 29 in.

    H 64.77 cm x W 60.96 cm x D 73.66 cm

  • Seller location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Seller reference number
  • Reference number

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About Alvar Aalto (Designer)

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.

About the Seller

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2011
Typical response time: 6 hrs
Located in San Francisco, CA
20th Century Specialists

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries

More From This Seller
Price Upon Request
Pair of Lounge Chairs by Ole Wanscher
Ole Wanscher
Danish Lounge Chairs
Fabric, Mahogany
A pair of lounge chairs with mahogany frame and upholstered in a deep terracotta wool fabric. Designed by Ole Wanscher in the 1950s and manufactured by Poul Jeppesen.
Price Upon Request
Pair of "Sven" Easy Chairs by Mats Theselius
Mats Theselius
Swedish Lounge Chairs
Leather, Chrome
A pair of easy chairs by Mats Theselius model "Sven" in satin brushed steel with deep brown harness leather seat and back. Designed in 1998 and produced by Kallemo, Sweden.
Price Upon Request
Kaare Klint & Edvard Kindt-Larsen Armchair, 4396
Kaare Klint, Edvard Kindt-Larsen
Danish Lounge Chairs
Brass, Leather, Upholstery, Mahogany
A Kaare Klint and Edvard Kindt-Larsen lounge chair of Cuban mahogany. Restored in antiqued leather. Designed in 1936, produced by Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier in the 1940s. Literatu...
Price Upon Request
Pair of Sawbuck Chairs, Model CH-28 by Hans Wegner
Hans J. Wegner
Danish Lounge Chairs
Leather, Oak
Pair of Sawbuck chairs, model CH-28 by Hans Wegner. A pair of Sawbuck chairs produced by Carl Hansen & Son, made of oak and recently reupholstered in leather. Denmark, circa 1950s.
You May Also Like
Alvar Aalto Early Cantilevered Armchair, Finlan...
Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Finnish 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 Arte...
Early Alvar Aalto Armchair, Model 406, Artek, F...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Finnish 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 ...
Alvar Aalto Early Edition Cantilevered Armchair...
Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Finnish 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, Finlan...
Alvar Aalto Tank Chair Model 400 by Artek in Fi...
Alvar Aalto
Finnish Lounge Chairs
Rare easy chairs model 400 / the tank chair designed by Alvar Aalto. Produced by Artek in Finland.
Alvar Aalto Hallway Chair Model No.403 by Finmar
Alvar Aalto, Finmar
Finnish 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.
Pair of Alvar Aalto Style Wicker Lounge Chairs
Alvar Aalto
Danish Lounge Chairs
Wicker, Bentwood
Pair of Alvar Aalto style wicker lounge chairs, each one with rich dark brown wicker seat and back rests on a blonde wood cantilever frame. Very comfortable pair of chairs with a lit...
Pair of Danish Modern Alvar Aalto Style Cantile...
Alvar Aalto, Kebe Mobelfabrik
Danish Lounge Chairs
Leather, Teak
Super comfortable and handsome pair of teak lounge chairs made in Denmark by Kebe Mobelfabrik. These well made chairs have a bentwood cantilevered frame with black leather upholstery...
Tank Chair by Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Finnish Lounge Chairs
A good early Tank chair having a generous seat comprised of two intersecting rectangular upholstered slabs floating dramatically between a wide continuous band of laminated birch tha...