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Oscar Stonorov and Willo von Moltke Organic Design Coffee Table



Boat-shaped coffee table with beveled edges in silvered walnut by the team of German-born American architects Oscar Stonorov and Willo von Moltke, designed for the Museum of Modern Art's 1941 Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition, and produced in very small numbers by Red Lion Furniture of Pennsylvania. Per the MoMA catalog, “a design may be called organic when there is an harmonious organization of the parts within the whole, according to structure, material, and purpose. Within this definition there can be no vain ornamentation or superfluity, but the part of beauty is none the less great—in ideal choice of material, in visual refinement, and in the rational elegance of things internded for use.” The suite of furnishings designed by Stonorov and von Moltke---including a vanity, coffee table, dining set, bed, nightstand, and case pieces--won honorable mention at the seminal competition and received a preferred placement at the MoMA exhibition itself. The winning entries in the competition, which included the iconic seating and unit furniture by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, were showcased at eleven department stores across the country--notably Bloomingdale's and Kaufmann's--and were intended for serial production, but America's entry into WWII a month after the opening of the exhibition, along with higher than expected price points across the board meant that few pieces were actually made outside the ones initially sent to the participating department stores. This was especially true for the Stonorov and von Moltke suite, which wound up being among the most expensive items at the show due to the quality of materials and construction. Stonorov, the senior member of the team, apprenticed with the sculptor Aristide Maillol and the architect Andre Lurcat in Europe before emigrating to America in 1929. Ref: Organic Design in Home Furnishings, Noyes, pp. 22-25. See also the MoMA installation photo below.


  • Creator
    Oscar Stonorov and Willo von Moltke (Designer),Red Lion Furniture (Manufacturer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 19 in. (48.26 cm)Width: 39.5 in. (100.33 cm)Depth: 20.5 in. (52.07 cm)
  • Style
    Organic Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Refinished. Wear consistent with age and use. Sanding and clear coating to the top; polishing and clear coating to the base. Faint ring mark to the top.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU828521006362

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $399 Standard Front Door Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 3-6 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
Established in 1995
1stDibs seller since 2007
207 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
20th Century Specialists
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