Alto is best known for bentwood furniture but the ‘metal smoking table with six floors’ was one of several functionalist designs produced in the 1920s.
This version (with some subtle changes from the original) was ordered by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1974 but, as fate would have it, the full transaction was never completed.
The delivery was interrupted when manufacturer Valaistustyö Ky’s founder Viljo Hirvonen fell ill and died in 1975 with Aalto himself dying the following year. The table was never shipped to New York and was later sold to the Finnish vendor.
The winning bid at the auction on April 24, which reached €115,000 with 25% buyer’s premium added, was double the €50,000-70,000 lower estimate.
The table will remain in Finland.