Pyramid armchair by Dutch designer Wim Rietveld for De Cirkel, Holland. Lacquered steel frame with a plywood seat and backrest. Stamped with date of production: 23 December 1965 (see picture).
Dimensions: Height 31.9 in. (81 cm), width 20.9 in. (53 cm), depth 20.9 in. (53 cm), seat height 17.3 inches (44 cm).
Wim Rietveld (1924-1985) was the youngest child of Gerrit Thomas Rietveld. And just like his famous father, Wim had a special talent for design. After training as an instrument maker, Rietveld junior was admitted in 1950 to the 'Industrial Design' course at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, the oldest art academy in the Netherlands. His qualities did not go unnoticed and in 1953 he started working as a designer at the renowned Dutch furniture manufacturer Gispen.
For this company he designed various pieces furniture, including the Pyramide (Pyramid) chair offered here. During his career Wim Rietveld manifested himself emphatically as a structural designer, just like Jean Prouvé for example. His motto was: "Good shape, solid, practical and cheap". As a freelancer, Wim Rietveld worked for numerous other companies and designed various products, varying from electrical heaters to metro trains and from beds to agricultural equipment.
He was also a lecturer and professor at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (1960-1975) and The delft Technical University, (1970-1979).
The well thought out Pyramid chair was designed in 1960 and shows, certainly in profile, strong resemblance to the Mondial chair. Where the Mondial chair still had some technical shortcomings, the Pyramid chair was easier to produce (industrially) and was easier to stack and link as well. The Pyramid also has a slimmer and more transparent silhouette than the Mondial chair. Good examples of this Minimalist design are rare these days, especially the versions with armrests.
- E. van Hinte, Wim Rietveld: Industrieel ontwerper (Rotterdam 1996), p. 55-56
- P. Vöge and B. Westerveld, Stoelen: Nederlandse ontwerpen 1945-1985 (Amsterdam 1986), p. 110.
Pyramid Armchair by Wim Rietveld for De Cirkel
Very good, consistent with age and use: some paint loss to the armrest and some superficial scratches to the seat (see last pictures).