Tapio Wirkkala in 1959. Photo: Unkown, by Wikipedia commons.
Helander’s March 2018 Auction has a very special treat for those who love Scandinavian design items. A rare, made-to-order silver boat designed by Tapio Wirkkala and made by the Finnish Kultakeskus will be auctioned this week at Helander. Another silver boat by Wirkkala has previously been auctioned by another Finnish auction house for over 10 000 €. The price estimate for the silver boat in our upcoming March 2018 sale is a moderate 6 000 €.
The rare piece (Lot 2015) was made of silver (concentration 916) in 1964. The piece has been signed with Wirkkala’s monogram TW and it reaches a staggering 52 cm in length (20,4 inches) has the width of 11 cm (4,3 inches) and a height of 7 cm (2,7 inches). It weighs app. 722 g. The silver boat was a made-to-order piece by Kultakeskus. How many pieces like it was made back in the day, is unfortunately not known.
Lot 2015: Silver boat / Design by Tapio Wirkkala / Made by Kultakeskus / Silver concentration 916 / Monogram signed TW. / Year 1964 / Length 53 cm, width 11 cm, height 7 cm, weight 722 g. / Price estimate 6 000€ / Photo: Aki Syrjäläinen, Auction House Helander.
A name that is known around the world, Tapio Wirkkala (born June 2nd of 1915 in Hanko – died May 19th of 1985 in Helsinki) elevated Finnish design to it’s glory in the 1940’s – 1960’s alongside with famous Finnish designers like Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck, Timo Sarpanevan and many others.
During these years hundreds of different pieces gained shape in the hands of Wirkkala. To this day you can find something designed by him in almost every household in Finland.
”The eye does not feel the shape as delicately as a touch. When the eye lies, the fingers tell the truth.”-Tapio Wirkkala.
Luckily this very interesting silver piece is not the only interesting Lot in our March 2018 auction, which includes many other pieces designed by Tapio Wirkkala. You can find a wide range of different objects designed by Wirkkala for different manufacturers, including items like Futura -glasses or salad servers for Iittala, ceramic birds for Rosenthal, and a big variety of vases for different manufacturers.
Lot 2013: Lieve -chalice, silver / Design by Tapio Wirkkala. / Made by Kultakeskus / Silver concentration 925 / Monogram signed TW. / Year 1970 / Height 4 cm, length 20,5 cm. / Photo: Aki Syrjäläinen, Auction House Helander.
Did you know that silver items designed by Tapio Wirkkala were not that well known even to us Finns before the year 1958? Even though titled as a household name in design from the beginning of the 1950’s, Wirkkala’s production was brought to limelight when Kultakeskus celebrated their 40-year long journey with an exhibition held at the Stockmann department store. This is when Wirkkala truly gained the attention of the Fins.
The star of the exhibition was Wirkkala, who had designed many items for Kultakeskus. The selection for the our March 2018 auction also offers many pieces that Wirkkala designed for Kultakeskus during the 1950’s – 1970’s era.
Lot 2011: Silver candlesticks / Design by Tapio Wirkkala / Made by Hopeateollisuus / Silver concentration 813 / Helsinki, 1957 / Height 6 cm, diameter 12,5 cm. / Photo: Aki Syrjäläinen, Auction House Helander.
Lot 2012: Silver leaf-chalice / Design by Tapio Wirkkala / Made by Kultakeskus / Silver concentration 916 / Monogram signed TW. / Year 1955 / Height 6 cm, length 12 cm. / Photo: Aki Syrjäläinen, Auction House Helander.
Lot 2014: Silver ashtray with a clef and engraving / Design by Tapio Wirkkala / Madey by Kultakeskus / Silver concentration 813 / marked TAPIO WIRKKALA / Year 1959 / Height 4 cm, diameter 13,5 cm. / Photo: Aki Syrjäläinen, Auction House Helander.
Items presented in this article will be auctioned on the 1st and 2nd of March, starting from 5pm local time. All items will be sold in the following order: Lot’s 1 – 1000 on Thursday the 1st of March and Lot’s 1001 – onwards on Friday the 2nd of March.
BROWSE & BID ONLINE:
You may submit bid(s) either online (via the auction catalogue) as absentee bids, by phone during the auction (reserve a call on our website before the auction has started) or by attending the Auction!
To submit your Bids, you need register. You may either register online (click here) or at the Auction House.
Meet our experts, get a closer look at the Items and enjoy yourself at our free open house. Lot’s can be viewed during our open house, which takes place on Wednesday Feb 28th (12pm – 7pm), Thursday Mar 1st (3pm – 5pm) and Friday Mar 2nd (3pm – 5pm). Please keep in mind that items that have been sold will be removed from the Open House. For example items sold on Thursday will not be open for viewing on Friday.
Text: Jenny Sirén
Pictures: Aki Syrjäläinen, Auction House Helander.