Authentic Tea Trolley 901 in Birch by Alvar Aalto & Artek For Sale
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Authentic Tea Trolley 901 in Birch by Alvar Aalto & Artek

Estimated Production Time7-8 weeks

About

Authentic tea trolley 901 in birch by Alvar Aalto & Artek. Alvar Aalto's tea trolleys serve as highly functional and distinctive additions to a dining room or hospitality area. Introduced at the 1937 Paris world's fair, they are in the permanent collection of the museum of modern art. The tea trolley was inspired by British tea culture, which Aino and Alvar Aalto had become acquainted with though their many travels, as well as by the Japanese woodwork and architecture they admired. With a frame composed of two birch lamella loops, tea trolley 901 features two shelves and a solid birch handle. Twin wheels, in combination with the lightweight quality of birch, mean the trolley can be easily maneuvered and parked at will. Over the years, numerous variations of the Tea Trolley have been produced. Dutch designer and colour expert Hella Jongerius delved into Artek’s archives to offer her own take on one of Alvar Aalto’s most cherished products. Her subtle interventions resulted in a light and a dark version of the trolley, which play with the shifting light on the product’s upper and lower trays. Recognised today as one of the great masters of modern architecture, Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was born in Kuortane, Finland. During a long and prolific career, Aalto designed buildings for almost all key public institutions, as well as standardised housing and private homes. One of the co-founders of Artek, Aalto left a legacy with lasting resonance. Aalto’s architecture is distinctively finnish, strongly individual, and marked by a warm humanity. His buildings derive their aesthetic character from their dynamic relationship with their natural surroundings, their human scale, superbly executed details, unique treatment of materials, and ingenious use of lighting. Aalto began designing furnishings as a natural extension of his architectural thinking. His first modern piece of furniture was created in 1931-1932 for the tuberculosis sanatorium in Paimio, Finland. Artek was set up in 1935 to market and sell his and his wife Aino’s furniture, lighting, and textiles, particularly on international markets. Through his innovations in form and line, Alvar Aalto’s name has also become important in the history of design. In fact, Aalto first achieved fame in Continental Europe as a furniture designer, and only later as an architect. His contribution to furniture design was among his foremost achievements in its own right. Aalto’s furniture and lighting form the heart of the Artek range. Price is per item. Handmade to order in Finland. Current configuration shown is in birch with white laminate. The tea trolley is also available in natural birch with black linoleum and black lacquered birch with linoleum. Please specify when ordering. In-stock lead time 7-8 weeks. Out of stock lead time up to an additional 8 weeks or more. Please note that inventory can change at any time. For time sensitive orders, please inquire prior to purchasing.

Details

  • Dimensions
    H 22 in. x W 35.5 in. x D 19.75 in.H 55.88 cm x W 90.17 cm x D 50.17 cm
  • Seller Location
    Glendale, CA
  • Reference Number
    LU1447214248871
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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

5 / 5
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Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Glendale, CA
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