• 20th Century Decorative Art  & auction at Christies

    Sale 7759

    20th Century Decorative Art & Design

    27 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 29

    LOJA (1879-1968) & ELIEL (1873-1950) SAARINEN; ATTRIBUTED


    Price Realised  


    LOJA (1879-1968) & ELIEL (1873-1950) SAARINEN; ATTRIBUTED
    hand-knotted long-pile wool, depicting stylised tulips
    99 in. (252 cm.) x 75½ in. (191 cm.)

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    Executed in the National Romantic style characteristic of the Finnish Arts & Crafts movement of the early twentieth century, the present wall-carpet offers stylistic qualities comparable to other ryijy weavings, notably the 'Flames' rug that Loja and Eliel Saarinen designed for their own home, Hvittrask. Hand-woven from long-pile wool, the wall-carpet responds to a traditional Finnish form, designed to be attached to a wall and draped over a bench to provide insulation from draughts.

    In 1904 Eliel Saarinen married Louise (Loja), the sculptress sister of his professional partner Herman Gesellius, and the pair continued to develop the interior decoration of their home at Hvitträsk, commenced 1901, with Loja concentrating on textiles decoration. In 1923 the Saarinens relocated to the United States, whereupon Eliel began an lengthy collaboration with the Cranbrook Educational Community, culminating in his appointment as President of the Cranbrook School of Art in 1932. Prior to this, Loja had, in 1928-29, established a weaving department at the School, which remained influential throughout the 1930s and 1940s. During the Cranbrook period both Eliel and Loja continued to design carpets and weavings, frequently collaborating upon designs.

    Antti Antero was an influential industrialist who chaired Nokia rubber and textiles factories until 1939, and who was also a board member of the Nokia weaving and dyeing mill, established 1920. Following his death in 1942 the carpet was passed to his daughter, who donated the carpet to her husband's Helsinki law office, where it has remained for the sixty years until the present.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Mr. Antti Antero (1870-1942), thence by descent.