Poetic Furniture by Gustaf Fjaestad to be sold in the Autumn auction, Modern Art & Design

Bukowskis are pleased to present furniture by the Swedish designer and artist Gustaf Fjaestad to be sold at the Modern Art & Design auction on 12th November.
Gustaf Fjaestad's sculpted and carved furniture, which stands at Thielska Gallery, is often regarded as synonymous with the gallery itself. Now Bukowskis will sell a duplicate of the fantastic table that was delivered to Thielska Gallery in 1908, as well as six unique chairs. The furniture has been in the same family since 1914.

"Fjaestad's so-called stab furniture is made as almost fabelled expressions that have few counterparts, more natural romantic in style rather than Art Nouveau, with cut pine branches and bark decor," says Eva Seeman, specialist in Design & Modern Crafts.

Fjaestad's table was originally ordered by an American acquaintance to Thiel along with six bar stools. The chairs were manufactured around 1908 - 1909. The table was finished a few years later in 1914, yet the American customer sadly passing away before the furniture was delivered, thus it remained in Sweden.

Ernest Thiel and his wife visited Friedrich Nietsche's archives in Weimar where they saw Henry van de Velde's grand décor, including the gigantic wall-mounted sofa styled in the Belgian Art Nouveau, significant for van de Velde's design.

Thiel, who was acquainted with Gustaf Fjaestad, decided that Fjaestad was the right person to create a Swedish interpretation of Van de Velde's sofa in his newly built villa at Djurgården, designed by Ferdinand Boberg. Fjaestad was hence commissioned to create a table and a sofa for Thiel.

Thiel's sofa and table were exhibited at the Art Industry Exhibition at Djurgården in Stockholm in 1909 together with six chairs. It is possible that the original American client saw Thiel's table at the exhibition and ordered a similar one.

Gustaf Fjaestad, table, Arvika, art nouveau 1914, a copy of the table in the Ernst Thiels collection, Theilska Galleriet, Stockholm

Fjaestad later decided to give Thiel a gift consisting of the six supplementary chairs, which today are at the Thielska Gallery. The table which will be sold at Bukowskis the autumn is thus a copy of the Thiel table and is intended to complete the six chairs.

The complete furniture group, which will be on offer at Bukowskis Modern auction, was shown in 1914 at the Baltic exhibition in Malmö, where the pieces were returned to Fjaestad from the original buyer. He soon found another buyer in the tobacco manufacturer Erland P. Olsén in Arvika, where they remained until now.

The Fjaestad furniture has been exhibited a number of times in Sweden, and has also toured internationally according to family tradition. This is supported through a transport label from the Panama Canal on the underside of the table.

Picture from tobacco producer, Erland P. Olsén's, home in Arvika.
Gustaf Fjaestad, "stabbe" chairs, Arvika 1908-09, sculptured by Adolf Swanson, Ola Eriksson and Knut Nyman.

When is the viewing and auction?

Viewing: 21–25 November at Berzelii Park 1 in Stockholm
Auction: 26–27 November at Arsenalsgatan 2 in Stockholm

Buy and sell your modern art and design at Bukowskis

Welcome to contact our specialist today for valuation and consignment.

Eva Seeman
Eva Seeman
Head Specialist Design and 20th-21st C Works of Art
+46 (0)708 92 19 69
Jonatan  Jahn
Jonatan Jahn
Specialist Design and 20th-21st Century Works of Art
+46 (0)703 92 88 60
Camilla Behrer
Camilla Behrer
Specialist Design and 20th Century Works of Art
+46 (0)708 92 19 77
Anette Granlund
Anette Granlund
Head Specialist Carpets, Textiles and Islamic Works of Art
+46 (0)708 92 19 92