Tulip Oval Coffee Table in Marble by Eero Saarinen for Knoll International
About the Item
- Creator:Eero Saarinen (Designer)
- Design:Saarinen Pedestal TableSaarinen Pedestal Series
- Dimensions:Height: 20.87 in (53 cm)Width: 53.15 in (135 cm)Depth: 35.44 in (90 cm)
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Date of Manufacture:Unknown
- Condition:Wear consistent with age and use.
- Seller Location:Porto, PT
- Reference Number:1stDibs: LU8345233440902
Finnish-American architect and furniture maker Eero Saarinen (1910–61) declared that he “wanted to clear up the slum of legs” crowded beneath tables. Enter his Pedestal collection, which Knoll launched in 1958. The collection included armchairs, stools and tables of various sizes all balanced on a single supporting leg.
Saarinen got his start in furniture as a student at Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art, where his father, architect Eliel Saarinen, was director. Some of Eero’s earliest work was designing furniture for Kingswood, a Cranbrook school for girls that opened in 1931. The pieces included a table with four gathered legs in order to make room for both people and chairs’ legs.
At Cranbrook Academy, Saarinen met Florence Knoll, who would become a lifelong friend and professional partner, especially when she was leading the Knoll furniture company. He also met fellow designer Charles Eames, and — with support from Ray Eames — they created the molded plywood Organic chair, which placed first in the 1940 Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As with Saarinen’s future practice, the Organic chair was emblematic of a design approach that was informed by a consideration of the human body as well as the possibilities of new machine processes.
Although America’s involvement in World War II disrupted plans to manufacture the Organic chair, Saarinen continued to explore organic shapes in industrial design. His interest in using seamless plastic forms was clear with his Pedestal series, but the technology was not advanced enough for their stability. Instead, the Pedestal table and its accompanying Tulip armchairs and armless chairs comprised cast-aluminum bases. Each table, stool and chair was crafted with a single, tapered cylindrical leg that descends to a base that flares into a circle, giving the illusion of being one piece. Like his Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the series’ pieces appear to float, and although austere in silhouette, they reflect intense attention to engineering.
The Pedestal table was released with several additional options, including marble and wood veneer for its round and oval tops for dining, side and coffee tables. Because of their modest footprint on a room and streamlined design, these tables can harmonize with nearly any interior style. The design’s status as a mid-century modern classic has inspired numerous imitators, but Saarinen’s original Pedestal table — still manufactured by Knoll — maintains the grace and quality that distinguishes it from the rest.
Through his work as an architect and designer, Eero Saarinen was a prime mover in the introduction of modernism into the American mainstream. Particularly affecting were the organic, curvilinear forms seen in Saarinen’s furniture and his best-known structures: the gull-winged TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy airport in New York (opened 1962), Dulles International Airport in Virginia (1962) and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri (1965).
Saarinen had a peerless modernist pedigree. His father, Eliel Saarinen, was an eminent Finnish architect who in 1932 became the first head of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Detroit. The school became synonymous with progressive design and decorative arts in the United States, and while studying there the younger Saarinen met and befriended several luminaries of mid-century modernism, among them Harry Bertoia and Charles and Ray Eames.
At Cranbrook, Saarinen also met Florence Schust Knoll, who, as director of her husband Hans Knoll's eponymous furniture company, would put Saarinen’s best designs into production. These include the Grasshopper chair, designed in 1946 and so named because its angled bentwood frame resembles the insect; the Tulip chair (1957), a flower-shaped fiberglass shell mounted on a cast-aluminum pedestal; and the lushly contoured Womb lounge chair and ottoman (1948). In his furniture as in his architecture, the keynotes of Eero Saarinen’s designs are simplicity, strength and grace.
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Porto, Portugal
- Return PolicyA return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.
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