rare garden chair for Castle De HaarThe Netherlands, c. 1900-1903
carved and stained oak, leather
24 w x 23 d x 35¾ h in (61 x 58 x 91 cm)
Incised with number and three small diamond marks to underside: .provenance: Castle De Haar, Utrecht | Private Collection
This early chair was designed by Pierre Cuypers for Castle De Haar, the former home of Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt and Hélène de Rothschild. In 1892, the couple commissioned Pierre Cuypers to restore the castle from ruins and the architect spent twenty years designing the castle buildings, interior and furnishings. Cuypers utilized a workshop in Maastricht to produce all of the interior elements, including at least six examples of this form. All of the furnishings from Castle de Haar bear similar markings – three diamonds, a motif used in the coat of arms at the castle, as well as a number which indicates where the item was located within the castle. This chair is marked 152, which suggests that it was utilized in the steward's quarters.
A predecessor to Hendrik Petrus Berlage and Michel de Klerk, Cuypers' influence on the Amsterdam School is evident in this chair. Its proportion and sloped leather armrests can be seen in a later example designed by de Klerk, who worked for Cuypers early in his career.