Cabinet and Desk by Jan De Swart

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Sculptor/engineer/teacher/non-conformist Jan De Swart, Dutch emigre and fascinating exponent of the optimistic Southern California modernist aesthetic, was an artist no less idiosyncratic than the sculptures he created with meticulous craftsmanship (borne of his parallel career in precision aerospace design), a childlike love of discovery and a sophisticated sense of humor. As promoted by the influential post-war California magazine "Arts and Architecture," which frequently featured his stunning work, de Swart was above all a tireless experimentalist with form.

This unusual cabinet-with-desk was built by Jan De Swart for his own use, as a display cabinet for his smaller sculptures at Allegro, his magical house in the hills of Eagle Rock, California. A small desk surface just below the doors is illuminated by a lamp concealed under the projecting roof-form that caps the cabinet. The elaborate wrought iron locking mechanism is an antique component that was modified by the artist with other found objects. This is a unique piece from the estate of the artist.

Literature: "Angeles Magazine", October 1991, p.75 (a photograph and description of the piece).


  • Date of Manufacture
  • Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    80.25 in. H x 27.25 in. W x 25 in. D
    204 cm H x 69 cm W x 63 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Number of Items
  • Reference Number
About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2005

Typical response time: 2 hours

Located in Los Angeles, CA

  • 20th Century Specialists

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