• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1942

    Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design

    18 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 181

    ALVAR AALTO (1898-1976)

    A PAIR OF PATINATED BRONZE DOOR HANDLES, DESIGNED CIRCA 1948

    Price Realised  

    ALVAR AALTO (1898-1976)
    A Pair of Patinated Bronze Door Handles, designed circa 1948
    together with back plates
    each 10 in. (25.4 cm.) high (2)


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    Alvar Aalto originally designed this door handle for the National Pensions Institute in Helsinki (1948-57) and, because it was such a successful form, reused in on many of his subsequent buildings. For Aalto the door handle was the building's "handshake" thus its form was not to be overlooked. Designed for right-hand and left-hand doors, the curved shape of each handle fits easily into one's hand. These handles were also designed to be stacked in order to accommodate the needs of both short and tall users.

    Door handles of this design are included in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

    cf. R. Weston, Alvar Aalto, London, 1995, p. 164, fig. 38 for an image of door handles of this design in situ at the National Pensions Institute, Helsinki.