Bentwood Four Seat Bench
Luterma, Estonia, C. 1900
Description:An antique four seat bench designed and made by Luterma, Estonia, circa 1900 (previously A. M. Luther Mechanical Woodworking Factory).
Luterma’s early furniture types included office and railway furniture as well as domestic designs but by 1914 much of their output was largely concerned with functionalism.
This bench can be seen to bridge the two markets aforementioned as well as the company’s transition from Art Nouveau to Modernism.
The size and straight forward nature of the design suggests it could have been purchased for use in a commercial or public space. However, the excellent original condition signals light use in a domestic interior.
The frame of the bench is constructed of bent beech whilst the seats panels are laminated beech plywood.
Brilliantly, the motifs on each of the seats are not decal stickers but the result of stencilling. A stain resistant substance was applied via stencil and then the unlacquered area stained. Therefore, the lighter colour of the elaborate shell pattern is the colour of the wood beneath the stain. The aesthetic benefit of this is that the unstained wood has aged harmoniously with the rest of the bench.
Thanks to over a century of gentle wear, in certain places the natural beech has re-emerged from the original dark-stain finish. Namely, this déradé effect can be seen where elbows have been at the back of the armrests and on the raised corners of the seat panels. The patination on the bench is nothing less than exquisite.
Maker’s mark stamped on the underside of the seat panels.
Width: 200 cm
Height: 88 cm
Depth: 62 cm
Seat Height: 48 cm