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New season – New highlights: A floral rarity by Josef Frank

A rarity from Svenskt Tenn’s early production

With new world records for Josef Frank's unique cabinets season after season, Bukowskis is proud to present another rarity by Josef Frank for spring 2023, the so-called "Rose Cabinet".

A home is constantly evolving, according to Josef Frank. ⁠The successful collaboration with Svenskt Tenn founder Estrid Ericson began in the 1930s. It resulted in furniture and home furnishings that have become icons and classics – objects that never seem to go out of date.**

Josef Frank began covering cabinets with various materials, at that time mainly with different types of textiles, during his years in Vienna in the 1920s at the firm Haus & Garten. In Sweden, Frank designed the first cabinet in 1937 to be covered with floral prints from Palmstruch's flora, later Lindman's flora. Together with Estrid Ericson, Josef Frank made many different variants with covered surfaces on his cabinets; textile, leather, snakeskin, and sometimes with maps.

A solid-coloured surface seems unsettling, a patterned one reassuring, for the viewer is involuntarily influenced by the slow approach behind it. The richness of the ornament cannot be fathomed so quickly; the monochrome surface, on the other hand, is immediately clear and thus no longer of interest.

Josef Frank

This cabinet, ordered by Elsa von Rosen, is probably a special order. The cabinet is similar to model number 522, which was designed in 1934-1935. That model is considerably smaller in size, with a height of 120 cm and a width of 80. Compare this with the cabinet, which is 140 cm high and 120.5 cm wide.

The cabinet is upholstered in a chintz fabric that evokes the more glamorous and generous interiors of the 1930s-1940s than those usually associated with Swedish interiors at that time. The richly floral surface is more reminiscent of the period's American interiors. It is not surprising that it was Countess Elsa von Rosen, a woman with the potential for an international outlook, who commissioned the cabinet in this design. The colourfulness is, of course, also characteristic of the Svenskt Tenn company and the interiors we have come to associate with the firm's signature designs since the mid-1930s and even today.

The cabinet will be sold at this spring’s Modern Art + Design on May 16th.

Viewing May 11th – 15th, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm.
Auction May 16th – 17th, Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm.

Read more about the auction

As part of the Bonhams network, Bukowskis reach a global market with millions of customers through a combination of our digital platforms and auction houses in Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Sydney. We are now accepting consignments for our upcoming auctions. Welcome to contact our specialists already today.

World records Previously sold Josef Frank cabinets

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Eva Seeman
Eva Seeman
Chief Specialist Modern and Contemporary Decorative art and design
+46 (0)708 92 19 69
Camilla Behrer
Camilla Behrer
Head of Design / Head of Modern Decorative Art and Design
+46 (0)708 92 19 77
Jonatan  Jahn
Jonatan Jahn
Head Specialist Contemporary and Modern Design
+46 (0)703 92 88 60