In 1999 Dutch designer Hella Jongerius got a grant of fl 5,000 by Dutch Charity Stichting Sofa, or Sofa Foundation to make a prototype of the Kasese Chair. Currently Stichting Sofa is known as Sofa Fonds and administered by the Dutch Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds. Dutch Prince Bernhard originally founded this Foundation on August 10, 1940 to collect money to buy Spitfire planes for WWII. After WWII it became a Foundation to foster Dutch Culture.
Recently one of a limited series of 12 Kasese Chairs was auctioned at a New York City design auction by Phillips de Pury & Company, which was curated by Murray Moss.
For the record: An avid reader and follower of Chair Blog was working for Moss in relation to this auction (see also the online Catalog of this auction). She drew my attention to that auction which makes the circle round.
The Kasese Chair was sold for $12,500. Only two and a half years earlier, on April 28, 2010, in a London auction by Phillips de Pury & Company two Kasese Chairs were sold for £12,500. So in two years this chair almost doubled in value…
Jongerius about the Kasese:
The translation of an African prayer chair into a foldable wooden chair, produced with carbon fibre and foam or felt. Jongerius wanted to find a new, non-technical language for a high-tech material. In 2000 the Kasese Chair inspired another mix of high-tech and traditional materials: My Soft Office.
Felt design: Not Tom, Dick & Harry.
In 1994, former fashion entrepreneur Murray Moss opened Moss in a small gallery space in Soho, with a determination to transform the public perception of industrial product design. The store quickly became internationally known for its product selection and presentation, with clients ranging from highly informed design professionals, to celebrities, students, and tourists with maps.
The shop grew and evolved — expanding to nearly 7000 square feet in late 1999 when Moss’s partner Franklin Getchell joined the company. Together they expanded the product base to include furniture, especially from Italian manufacturers, lighting, watches and jewelry, books, tabletop and a significantly increased focus on the studio work of the designers we offered.
The furniture and objects offered at the shop deliberately blurred the distinctions between production and craft, between industry and art, and between industrial and decorative arts. The intention was to force a view of each piece based on the context of its presentation, rather than its function or material. At Moss, context was fundamental, and value inferred from inaccessibility. The shop intentionally looked and felt like a museum, with everything locked behind glass or raised onto platforms. Provenance, designer, manufacturer, materials, manufacturing process – complete information about each product was posted near it.
The shop functioned as arbiter, advocate, and presenter, as well as gallery, showroom and salon. Moss was instrumental in shaping the direction of design retail, with influence far out of keeping with its size. It was a unique, unmatcheable and unmistakable place. And after eighteen years, Moss closed its doors in Soho in February 2012….
Within a week, MOSS BUREAU opened in the former garment district, in a tenth floor office/showroom. Moss Bureau continues the work of designer representation and exhibition, plus focused and curated design retail, and also offers design consulting and advisory, as well as curatorial, services, teaching and public speaking. Mossonline, the company’s website continues to offer a wide range of products.
Via Moss Online
The rapid increase in value made me think: “I know there is not such a thing as a Droit de Suit for the artist, not in the USA not in the UK and also not in the Netherlands. However….one plead for a Droit de Suit for the charity that originally enabled (or helped enable) the then poor young artist to create this chair”
My second thought is that I’m surprised to see Hella experiment with carbon composite material in a rather early stage, while I don’t see her use this material for chairs anymore now….