The Cavelli beech and fabric chair was designed in 1958 by Swedish designer Bengt Ruda (1918-99) and only in production during the first years of the furniture giant.
IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad (1926-2018) in 1943 with furniture debuting in the 1948 brochure, followed by flat-pack items being introduced in 1953.
The Cavelli offered by Swedish auction house Stadsauktion Sundsvall at Auctionet’s autumn fine art sale on November 14 took SKr151,000 (£12,680) plus commission. Design specialist Andreas Siesing said the model had become “something of a holy grail for design enthusiasts”.
He added: “The Cavelli also has great symbolic value. When Ruda was recruited from Swedish luxury department store Nordiska Kompaniet to work with IKEA’s new drawing office it was the first important step in designing furniture rather than just selling it. It embodies the transition from an affordable department store to a player with the ambition to furnish, decorate and help shape the Swedish folk home.”
A Ruda Cavelli armchair from 1959 offered at Swiss auction house Beurret & Bailly in June 2019 with an estimate of SFr6000-8000 made a hammer price of SFr6500 (then about £5175).
IKEA is named after the initials of Kamprad, with Elmtaryd, the farm on which he grew up, and Agunnaryd, the nearby village.