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Rare Eero Saarinen for Knoll 'Grasshopper' Armchair in Laminated Birch, 1946 For Sale
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Rare Eero Saarinen for Knoll 'Grasshopper' Armchair in Laminated Birch, 1946


A rare and substantial Eero Saarinen for Knoll 'Grasshopper' armchair deigned in 1946. This piece retains its original--and very durable--oil cloth upholstery to seat and back, along with its original finish on wooden frame--overall the chair remains in excellent condition for its age. Bent-laminated birch frame featuring signature 'grasshopper' arm rests give the chair a dynamic and inviting expression--armrests also provide strong support while sitting or standing up out of this chair. The frame also has an interesting construction detail where the back legs "double-up" as they're joined to the angled arms which rise from the legs, flanking the seat, to take their final position alongside the sitter's abdomen--a visually interesting and experimental application of bent-lamination technology. Curved backrest is decorated with round metal studs on its backside--a humorous detail that adds playfulness to the piece. Great ergonomics, it's one of the more comfortable and relaxing chairs at this size--could be use as an easy or reading chair in a smaller library. This example remains in excellent vintage condition for its age--with no structural issues or damage to upholstery.


  • Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Exceptional condition for its age-- no breaks tears, rips, etc.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 33.5 in. x W 22.5 in. x D 22.5 in.H 85.09 cm x W 57.15 cm x D 57.15 cm
  • Seat Height
    18 in. (45.72 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Seller Reference Number
  • Reference Number
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About Knoll (Manufacturer)

As a company that produced many of the most famous and iconic furniture designs of the 20th century, Knoll was a chief influence in the rise of modern design in the United States. Led by Florence Knoll, the firm would draw stellar talents such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen into its compass. Their work would help change the face of the American home and office.

     The company was formed in 1938 by the German immigrant Hans Knoll. He first worked with his fellow ex-pat, the Danish designer Jens Risom, who created furniture with flowing lines made of wood. While Risom served in World War II, in 1943 Knoll met his future wife, Florence Schust. She had studied and worked with eminent emigré leaders of the Bauhaus, including Mies, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. She won Knoll over with Bauhaus notions of industrial arts, and an aesthetic that featured flat and tubular metal frames and angular forms. When Hans died in a car crash in 1955, Florence Knoll was appointed head of the company. It was as much through her holistic approach to design—a core division of the firm was dedicated to planning office systems—as Knoll furnishings themselves that she brought about the sleek and efficient transformation of the American workplace.

     Today, classic Knoll furnishings remain staples of modern design collections and decors. A history of modern design is written in pieces such as Mies’ elegant Barcelona Chair, Saarinen’s pedestal Tulip chair, Breuer’s tubular steel Wassily chair and the grid-patterned Diamond chair by Harry Bertoia. As you can see from the items on the following pages, these designs and others have become timeless emblems of the progressive spirit and sleek sophistication of the best of Modernism.

About the Seller

5 / 5
Gold Seller
1stdibs seller since 2005
Located in Brooklyn, NY
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