This rare desk, executed in a rosewood and Macassar ebony veneer, was produced by ‘t Woonhuys in Amsterdam, circa 1925. The contrasting woods and the exquisite rosewood grain make this an exceptional piece of Art Deco craftmanship. Its play of vertical and horizontal shapes resonates strongly with ‘De Stijl’ movement that arose in The Netherlands during this period. The playful geometry can be appreciated from all sides, making it perfectly suitable as a freestanding desk. With its measurements, layout and small top drawers the desk could also function perfectly well as a vanity desk.
Provenance: Private collection, Haarlem, The Netherlands.
The furniture company ‘t Woonhuys was founded by F.J. Zeegers in 1907. Like the majority of furniture firms at the time, ‘t Woonhuys supplied exclusive furniture in various historical styles, instead of concentrating on simply one style. The drawings and sketches in the Woonhuys archives almost never mentioned the date or the designer’s name. An attribution to a specific designer is therefore rather difficult. The company is known to have produced the furniture of Michel de Klerk, one of the leading Amsterdam School designers. Other designers who are believed to have designed for the company include Guillaume Frédéric La Croix, Hildo Krop and Ad Grimmon. Based on advertisements found in the archives, the company catered to an upper class and culture-loving clientele, promoting its furniture in theater programs with beautifully printed color illustrations.
Bibliography: Living in the Amsterdam school - Designs for the interior 1910-1930. Authors: Ingeborg De Roode and Marjan Groot, published by Thoth, Bussum. ‘t Woonhuys Archives, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam.