Gerrit Rietveld 'Utercht' Chair

Gerrit Th. Rietveld (1888-1964)
Original R31, ‘Utrecht’ chair, 1937-1940



Beech wood frame, steel springs, jute and crin covered with canvas. Dimensions: 90 x 65.5 x 67 cm. Execution: Metz&Co, 1937-1940

The ‘R31’ or ‘Utrecht’ chair is the first fully upholstered armchair designed by Gerrit Rietveld. The chair was introduced in 1937 in a brochure from the avant-garde department store Metz&Co and featured a traditional interior consisting of a beech wood frame with steel springs sewn on webbing covered with “stepped” crin and jute. Originally the chair was upholstered in light natural canvas with dark stitching or brown canvas with light stitching. Production was stopped just before or during the Second World War.



Metz&Co announced the return of the chair in 1953. An original (undated) drawing by Rietveld shows the ‘Utrecht’ chair with a frame of spruce wood slats with plywood on which blocks of foam rubber were glued. It is not exactley clear when the ‘Utrecht’ chairs were first constructed according to this drawing. What is clear is that the first series of this design had a classic interior.

The example offered here has a classic interior with a solid beech wood frame and steel springs sewn on canvas webbing covered with crin and jute. This allows us to identify the example offered here as a pre-war example made between ca. 1937 and 1940.



This armchair was reupholstered in 2005 with brown canvas and light stitching, while retaining the original interior. An extensive photo report of this restoration has been preserved.






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