One of the most recognisable products of the Bauhaus was the B3 tubular chair. Designed by Marcel Breuer (1902-81) in 1925-26, it was affectionally known as the ‘Wassily chair’ thanks to Breuer’s association with the artist Wassily Kandinsky.
At this autumn’s Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair, dealer James Strang offers an example of the first commercial edition of the chair for £17,500. A Thonet stud riveted to the top rail marks it out as one of the rarest versions of the design which ceased production during the Second World War – though it continues to be reproduced today.
Bauhaus and its influence are the theme of the fair, which runs from October 1-6 in London’s Battersea Park. The event is aimed at private clients, interior designers and the trade. It is the third and final edition for 2019.
This year marks the centenary of the Bauhaus, which was launched by Walter Gropius in Weimar and ran until its closure under the Nazis in 1933. Its students worked to combine craft with fine art, embracing mass-production and creating designs marked by simplified forms, rationality and functionality. Its aesthetic continued to inspired artists and craftsmen long after the school closed.
The fair features both Bauhaus works and those they inspired. Many of the objects falling into the theme will be on a multi-dealer showcase stand at the entrance to the fair.
Among other dealers offering buyers a touch of Bauhaus-inspired design is Foster & Gane which brings a die-cast aluminium and chromed tubular steel stool with cork seat made by Alpax in England, c.1930. It is priced at £365.
Wilson Stephens and Jones brings a print by Anni Albers (1899-1994), the German-born textile artist and printmaker whose experience at the Bauhaus prompted her career-long mixing of art with craft. The copper plate etching and aquatint Second Movement II (1978) is offered for £7600.
Meanwhile Morgan Strickland, a specialist in Art Nouveau and Art Deco, contributes a large British-made carpet based on a c.1929 Soviet propaganda poster, which originally featured text translating roughly to We Smite the Lazy Workers. Thought to be made at the Wilton factory in the 1930s it is offered fully restored for £14,000.
These objects represent a fraction of the periods and movements featured by the 161 dealers standing at the event. Shoppers will find objects such as a serpentine-fronted Venetian commode, a 1950s Italian floor lamp in the shape of lilies, 18th century maiolica pots and apothecary jars and an Anish Kapoor etching.
Joining the fair for the first time are Chelsea Vintage Couture with luxury vintage fashion, The Home Bothy, offering folk art and decorative antiques, and Rkade, specialising in 18th-20th century European design. Among those returning after a break are Anthony Fell and Tribalspace.