Gerrit Rietveld 'Krat-Bureau'

Gerrit Th. Rietveld 1888-1964
Desk from the series “Krat-meubels”
Utrecht, 1934-1935

Stained solid pine, mounted with screws.
Measurements : Hight. 70 cm., Width 100 cm., Dept. 60 cm.
Executed 1935-1940

‘Krat meubels’ (meaning ‘crate furniture’), as the Dutch architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld called them, date from 1934. At first he designed a chair, a cupboard and a low table. The small desk was added to the series a year later. Rietveld described these simple furniture as being made according to the ‘free carpentry method, which goes straight for its purpose’. According to him, the equal width of the parts and the open seams give a calm image. The furniture consists of an honest construction in which nothing is hidden. The avant-garde department store Metz & Co started to sell Rietveld’s ‘Crate Furniture’ in 1935 in Amsterdam and The Hague. They are presented in a separate folder as ‘Weekend Furniture’ for second homes or students chambers.


This desk was a gift to a female student, who received the desk from her uncle on the occasion of her first year of studying medicine at the Leiden University around 1940. Due to her Jewish origin and the German occupation of the Netherlands at that time she could not complete her studies until after WOII to subsequently become a pharmacist. She used the desk throughout her graduation and it remained in the family until we acquired it directly from her daughter in Amsterdam.



Marijke Küper, Ida van Zijl, ‘Gerrit Th. Rietveld 1888-1964 The Complete Works’, Centraal Museum Utrecht 1992, p. 155-156, no.208;
Petra Timmer, ‘Metz&Co de creatieve jaren’, 010 Publishers Rotterdam 1995, p.104, no. 133.;
Folder ‘Weekend Meubelen’, Metz&Co Amsterdam 1935.



Sold to a Belgian collector, February 2023.

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