Mistaken Identity

In the past, the design world has mistakenly attributed this chair to Charlotte Perriand, who,  in 1940, began working in Japan as an adviser to Japan's Department of Trade Promotion. In 1941, she and Junzo Sakakura, a designer she had met at Le Corbusier's studio, presented the collection Tradition, Selection, Creation at the Takashimaya department store, which included both her designs and those of others' that she wanted to feature in the context of her new work. 

In the catalog for the show, an example of the present lot is pictured — not as a design by Perriand, but as comparison with a cantilevered bamboo chair that she did design, highlighting what she believed to be improvements on the form and use of materials. The chair was actually designed by Ubunji Kidokoro in 1937; also pictured is Alvar Aalto's Paimo/Model 31 lounge chair (1932), which was quoted as an inspiration for Kidokoro's design. 

Catalog from Tradition, Selection, Creation, showing Kidokoro's (1937) and Perriand's (1940) bamboo chair designs. Image: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living

Perriand in Japan

Perriand  was greatly influenced by the craftsmanship and forms of Japanese designs, particularly Mingei, a folk art movement developed in the 1920s and 1930s. She  would go on to design bamboo furniture into the 1950s — her Tokyo collection from 1954 is particularly well-known. Images: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living.