Alvar Aalto table and chairs sold at Spicers for £4100.

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Designed by one of the great names, Alvar Aalto (1898-1976), for Finmar, the 4t 2in (1.27m) diameter table with a ‘lazy susan’ and laminate legs and the matching chairs had an impeccable provenance.

The set came with the original sales brochure and price list (table, £6.10s, chairs £3 each) when bought in 1939 by the grandparents of the vendor when setting up their first home in Hull.

Pitched at £2000-3000, it attracted bids from Finland and Denmark before selling online to a London bidder at £4100.


The Alvar Aalto table and chairs sold at Spicers for £4100 shown in the vendor’s grandparents’ Hull home.

With the same provenance, an Aalto silver birch three-tier bookcase showed that even early Finmar material can be quite reasonably priced.

Stamped 733, it had cost the vendor’s grandparents £5 in 1939. At the East Yorkshire auction it was pitched at £200-300 and sold to a Finnish bidder at £600.