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Sam Maloof (USA 1916‑2009)


Säljs vid Uppsala Auktionskammares Internationella Kvalitetsauktion 19-20 maj 2021

Nr. 97 Sam Maloof  Gungstol. Alta Loma, Kalifornien 1994. Signerad No. 38 1994 Sam Maloof d.f.a. r.is.d. © M.j/I.w. Spjälad genombruten rygg. Valnöt, medarna skiktlimmade med ostindisk palisander. Pluggar i ebenholts. L 150, B 60,5, H 98 cm.


100.000 – 150.000 SEK
€ 10.000 – 15.000


Hans Johnsson (1930‑2020) & Mick Johnsson (1934‑2014), Old Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. Beställd direkt av formgivaren efter ett besök i dennes verkstad i Alta Loma, Kalifornien augusti 1992, sedermera levererad 1994.
Därefter genom arv till nuvarande ägare.


John Kelsey (red.), Fine Woodworking, No. 25, november/december 1980, jämför liknande exemplar s. 52.
Sam Maloof, Sam Maloof Woodworker, 1983, jämför s. 121‑125.

In context

Sam Maloof – A walnut and rosewood rocking chair, 1994

“I have a romantic view of what I do. I love wood and I love my tools. But I have a practical side too. I’ve made a living for more than 30 years as a woodworker – raised a family, built a home. It’s been good for me. It’s brought me in touch with a lot of people.” – Sam Maloof in an interview by Rick Mastelli for Fine Woodworking, 1980

Once described by The New York Times as ”a central figure in the postwar American crafts movement”, Sam Maloof became one of America’s preeminent makers of handcrafted furniture. He is arguably the country’s best known woodworker, and no other 20th century studio furniture maker has received as many awards for design and craftsmanship. Having no formal training, Maloof started out in a backyard workshop in the late 1940’s, slowly but surely developing a subtle refinement through trial and error. His early works predate his first contact with the Danish modern furniture his work seems in touch with. Maloof claimed not to be conscious of any direct influence, although some contemporaries have described his work as “gothic”, “western”, “classic” or “organic”. But Maloof was no imitator, once stating that “if you’re not preoccupied with making an impact with your designs, chances are something that looks good today will look good tomorrow”.

One of Hans and Mick’s visits to the Maloof workshop, from a private photo album of the Johnsson family.
One of Hans and Mick’s visits to the Maloof workshop, from a private photo album of the Johnsson family.

Throughout Maloof’s work there is a natural, symmetrical consistency, keeping to simple and pure values in his relationship to wood. His work is known for its exposed joinery (nails are never used, screws are hidden by wooden plugs), and his designs are characterized by the contrast of soft curves with hard lines. He was primarily a chairmaker, mainly using walnut for the liveliness of its figure. Hailing from the “Golden state”, Maloof was an originator of California woodworking, and up until his passing in 2009 he lived and worked in Alta Loma at the foot of the San Gabriel mountains, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.

The present rocking chair was commissioned by a Swedish-American couple, Hans and Mick Johnsson, in August 1992 after a visit to Maloof’s workshop in Alta Loma. The couple, who lived in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, first met Sam and his wife Alfreda Maloof in the 1980’s and remained close friends throughout the years, as evident by correspondence kept by the Johnsson family. Finished, signed and delivered in 1994, the present rocking chair in walnut and east indian rosewood is a true signature piece out of Maloof’s oeuvre. The rocking chair is regarded by many craft artists as the most difficult type of furniture to make, and one of Maloof’s rockers was the first piece of contemporary furniture selected for the White House Collection in 1982.

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Erik Ingare


Tel: 0720-70 67 89

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