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Finnish ‘leaf dish’ heads Munich sale

16 August 2012Written by Jonathan Franks

A 22in (57cm) long laminated wooden ‘Leaf Dish’ designed by the Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala (1915-85), estimated at €1200-1500, turned out to be the top lot of the summer Design sale held by Munich’s Quittenbaum.

In the 1950s Wirkkala was fascinated by nature's form in his native Finland and created a variety of objects in the form of melting ice, mushrooms and leaves. His so-called leaf dishes, made in glass or veneered plywood, were particularly popular and a commercial success.

The one that Quittenbaum had to offer was manufactured by Soinne & Kni in Helsinki, but not signed by the designer, which accounted for the lowish estimate.

It had, however, been bought by the consignor's family in Milan in 1954, presumably at the city's Triennale

Numerous international bidders recognised the historical importance of a Wirkkala original from this era and upped the price to €31,000 (£24,370) at the sale on June 27.

The buyer's premium was 19.5%.

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