Kari-Paavo Kokki: Tuolit, sohvat ja jakkarat. Renessanssista 1920-luvulle [Chairs, sofas and stools. From the renaissance to the 1920s]

24 November 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Tuolit, sohvat ja jakkarat. Renessanssista 1920-luvulle
[Chairs, sofas and stools. From the renaissance to the 1920s]
Photographs: Katja Hagelstam
Helsinki: Otava, 2011. 175 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-1-23415-9
€56, hardback

Could it be that chairs are the most important pieces of furniture in our daily lives? The history of furniture in Finland – not much has survived from earlier than late 16th century – is made up of Swedish, Russian and Finnish parts. Furniture-making in the Kingdom of Sweden, of which Finland formed a part until 1809, was modelled on European trends, and that was also the case in St Petersburg – which is close to Finland – during the period when Finland became a Russian-governed Grand Duchy (1809–1917). Finnish peasant furniture has always been of high quality, despite often harsh circumstances. Finnish furniture-makers adapted both Swedish and Russian styles; for example, Empire (in England, Regency) and Biedermeier chairs were either of the Russian or the Swedish type. Gustavian furniture (c. 1775–1810), from the period of King Gustav III, was popular and abundant, and in the past decades the style has become extremely favoured by collectors. Detailed, beautiful photography in this book supports the concise, informative text. Kari-Paavo Kokki, director of Heinola City Museum, is an antiques specialist.

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